Updated from April 23
So far, so good for
The wireless chip giant beat second-quarter earnings projections by 2 cents Wednesday and affirmed financial projections for the third quarter and full year. The company also forecast 44% chip-shipment growth for the coming quarter. Its shares rose 2% Thursday morning.
The solid numbers point to a healthy handset industry, say analysts. Increased chip orders indicate that outfits like
are gearing up for a prolonged handset buying cycle as they introduce new generations of color-screen camera-ready Net-accessible phones.
"Qualcomm will enjoy this wave for at least a couple quarters, but then the crystal ball gets murkier," says Sanford Bernstein's Paul Sagawa.
Though San Diego-based Qualcomm said it did see some order cancellations overseas, the tech shop has built up a lucrative business selling phone chips and licensing technology based on the fast-growing CDMA, or code division multiple access, wireless standard. The company has continued to perform strongly, but Wall Street has grown increasingly worried about the prospect of a slowdown in sales of CDMA phones in the U.S. and elsewhere.
On a conference call with analysts, the wireless standard bearer said it would see a slight drop in its more-than-90% market share in CDMA chips. The company acknowledged that Nokia's third attempt to develop its own CDMA chip may present some added competition as will similar efforts by Samsung. Both companies are using their own chips in a host of new CDMA phones hitting the market now.
In the meantime, the company's numbers looked solid, excluding the performance of its Brazilian service provider business, Vesper. Qualcomm took a $160 million charge for impaired assets related to the exit of that business.
For the second quarter, adjusted earnings were 38 cents per share on sales of $1 billion, compared to the 20-cent profit on $660 million in revenue for the year-ago period. The sales were roughly flat with the first quarter and in line with Wall Street expectations, according to a Multex survey. Earnings fell 4 cents sequentially but exceeded the 36 cents analysts had been looking for.
Actual second-quarter net income, as reported on a GAAP basis, was $103 million or 13 cents a share, more than double the level of a year ago of 5 cents.
Qualcomm rose 54 cents Thursday morning to $33.52.