QUALCOMM: Higher Demand, But Lower ASP’s (QCOM)

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It seems that the sudden push for all the smartphone launches and the continued gearing down of the laptops to smaller mobile web devices is acting as a boom for QUALCOMM Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM).  The CDMA leader is now raising its earnings views on higher demand.  Be advised, there is a reason the demand is higher.

Revenue is expected to be $2.67 billion to $2.77 billion, above prior estimates of $2.4 billion to $2.6 billion.  Operating income is now estimated to be $1.06 billion to $1.11 billion on a pro forma basis, above the $800 million to $900 million originally offered.  GAAP Operating income is now projected to be $830 million to $880 million, above its prior target of $550 million to $650 million.

QUALCOMM was just named last night as a winner in this trend by none other than Jim Cramer, along with a dozen or so other technology names.

It is seeing continued strength in CDMA shipments as it now sees 94 million to 95 million units shipped rather than prior targets of 87 million to 92 million units.  The company said that the March quarter CDMA-based device shipments are now expected to be 109 to 111 million CDMA units (CDMA2000 and WCDMA), above a prior forecast range of 107 to 112 million units.

The ASP’s, or average selling prices is actually lower here. QUALCOMM now sees the CDMA unit average as coming in at roughly $191 rather than its prior estimate of approximately $196 per unit.

For a year-over-year comparison, this compares with $2.76 billion in pro forma revenues, $1.06 billion in pro forma operating income, and about $820 million in GAAP operating income.

This is also lower on the ASP and on the units.  Its MSM shipments were 86 million a year ago and CDMA/WCDMA was roughly 107 million, but the ASP was listed as $226 per unit.

Shares were ticking up on the news at first, but the stock is down to flat based on lower ASP’s than expected.  This closed at $46.07 yesterday and the 52-week range is $28.16 to $56.88.  Shares on last look were at $46.03.

JON C. OGG

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