All Eyes on Qualcomm Ahead of Earnings and Guidance

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Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) is set to report earnings for its third quarter of 2014. Thomson Reuters has estimates of $1.22 in earnings per share (EPS) $6.52 billion in revenue. This would be up about 20% from the $1.03 in EPS a year ago, but on a revenue gain of only 4.5%.

When Qualcomm gave guidance in its last report, it was for revenues to be in a range of $6.2 billion to $6.8 billion (versus $6.24 billion a year earlier) and for its adjusted EPS to come in at $1.15 to $1.25 (versus $1.03 a year earlier).

As with many companies this season, the real view is likely to be on what the company sees ahead. That is particularly the case with an upcoming iPhone, which reportedly has been ordered for up to 80 million units.

Another view is how accelerated its buybacks are continuing. Qualcomm ended the past quarter with $32.1 billion in cash and marketable securities, after using $1 billion for share buybacks to repurchase some 13.4 million shares of its common stock.

Wall Street and technology watchers are going to be paying close attention to Qualcomm’s shipments. The company guided for this current quarterly report to show 198 million to 213 million units, for a rise of 15% to 24% from a year earlier.

For the fiscal year 2014, Qualcomm gave guidance that its average selling price would be approximately $218 to $228 per unit. Fiscal earnings were targeted at $5.05 to $5.25 in adjusted earnings per share on revenues being up 5% to 11% to a range of $26 billion to $27.5 billion.

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