Qualcomm Results Shine, but Outlook Mixed

07 November 2013

Qualcomm Inc., the leading vendor of application processors for smartphones, reported sales ahead of analysts' expectations for its fiscal fourth quarter but provided an outlook that showed much lower growth to come in the year ahead.

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, Qualcomm (San Diego) reported revenue of $6.48 billion, up 33 percent compared with the same quarter a year before and up 4 percent sequentially. The company posted a net income of $1.5 billion, up 18 percent compared with the year before but down 5 percent sequentially.

Qualcomm blamed the disappointing profit on a $173 million charge taken in the quarter related to a legal battle with RF technology provider ParkerVision Inc. Qualcomm was found guilty of infringement in a trial that began on Oct. 7.

A jury found Qualcomm guilty of infringing ParkerVision patents and also upheld the validity of those patents.The jury will now decide the amount Qualcomm must pay and whether Qualcomm willfully infringed the patents, which could lead to a substantially higher damage award. Qualcomm could appeal the verdict and damages award.

For the first fiscal quarter of 2014, Qualcomm forecast sales of between $6.3 billion and $6.9 billion, which would be a much lower year-on-year uplift of between 5 and 15 percent.

For the full fiscal year to Sept. 30, Qualcomm reported sales of $24.87 billion, up 30 percent from the previous year, and net income of $7.91 billion, up 22 percent from the previous year.

Qualcomm had cash on hand of $29.4 billion at the end of the quarter, compared with $26.8 billion a year before and $30.4 billion at the end of the previous quarter.

The company's share price slipped back after the results were published, taking its market capitalization down to $115 billion, close behind that of rival Intel Corp.

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