After Climbing the Hill, Wireless Investors Find the View Is Terrible
Cramer: Nokia Offers a Brutal Surprise
Nokia Puts Its Chips in the Third-Generation Basket
Handset Makers May Be Selling Into the Wind
Some of the biggest wireless names are getting too rich for Wall Street's blood.
Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown
balked after taking a good look in the wireless channel. It didn't like what it saw and slashed revenue and earnings estimates for
Analyst Brian Modoff reported his understanding that
are canceling cell-phone orders, and opined that "things out there remain ugly and they are not getting any better."
Wireless stocks have staged a mighty comeback since handset manufacturers warned about poor January quarter results and cut their estimates for 2001 handheld sales. Industry darling
is up 52% since April 3, along with technology provider Qualcomm's stunning 59% gain in the same period. Even laggards
(up 40%) and Motorola (up 41%) have enjoyed positive market moves since early April despite the continued softness of handset sales and confusion around customer rollout plans on the wireless-equipment side of their businesses.
DB Alex. Brown docked its numbers for Motorola's second quarter from a 12-cent loss to a 15-cent loss with $409 million less in revenue to $7.67 billion. The firm's new stance is conservative in comparison with consensus estimates for Motorola's second quarter of a 12-cent loss and $8 billion in revenue, according to
. Noting that Motorola expects an October/November pickup, Modoff nonetheless doubled his loss expectations for fiscal 2001 from 11 cents a share to 22 cents a share, cutting more than $1 billion from the revenue line at a newly pegged $32.7 billion.
Qualcomm got similar treatment, with Modoff lowering his sights from a 20-cent third quarter to 19 cents on $580.1 million in revenue. He lopped 4 cents off his 2001 marks for a 98-cent earnings-per-share estimate. While Motorola took it on the chin for GSM equipment and Qualcomm took its medicine for perceived CDMA weakness, DB Alex. Brown cut
estimates based on slow current-generation wireless equipment.
In the damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't category, DB Alex. Brown believes Powerwave's next-generation product sales are on track, but dinged
because its next-generation products aren't expected to pay off quickly enough to help this quarter.
In recent trading, most of the stocks were drifting downward. Qualcomm was off $2.11, or 3%, to $67.89. Nokia and Motorola both were down 2.9%, Ericsson was off 1.6%, Powerwave was only down 0.2% and Stratex was slightly higher by 1.2%.
The report counsels wireless investors to be prepared for a second quarter of earnings warnings. With a week's worth of
pesky handset news backed up behind the report, some of those late-spring gains may be at risk.