Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) had a very mixed earnings report, and the Apple overhang and a BlackBerry arbitration award against Qualcomm might seem rather disappointing. The good news is that its shares did not sell off handily on the news. The bad news is that Qualcomm may not be out of the woods yet as the stock remains quite weak compared with other chip stocks.
24/7 Wall St. already covered the earnings report in depth. What may matter more than anything in Qualcomm’s report is that the acquisition of NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) will act to diversify Qualcomm’s business away from just mobile processors. This might make the Apple situation less important ahead than in prior cycles.
Several key analyst reports have been issued on Qualcomm on Thursday and more are likely to be seen in the coming days.
Merrill Lynch maintained its Buy rating and $66 price objective. The firm’s investment rationale noted:
We believe Qualcomm is a long term beneficiary of growing 3G/4G smartphone, tablet and cellular enabled machine to machine adoption worldwide. While QTL licensing revenues are decelerating, we expect the mix shift towards emerging markets to stabilize and the royalty rate to be supported for the foreseeable future as all-LTE and 5G networks are many years away. While the consensus outlook for semis is negative, we believe 4G upgrades will support the QCT business and margins should normalize.
Merrill Lynch also gave a note on the NXP deal:
Management expects that it will be in the capital markets in the fiscal second half of 2017 to fund the remaining portion of its acquisition-related needs. The company continues to sell longer dated and higher volatility assets in its treasury investment portfolio in anticipation of funding the close of the pending NXP acquisition later in the calendar year.
Oppenheimer maintained its Perform rating as the standoff with Apple is weighing on the stock. As far as the NXP Semiconductor boost, the firm said:
While we see strategic value in the NXPI acquisition, we believe structural headwinds in QCOM’s QTL business and increasing competition in QCT are likely to persist.
Other analyst research notes for Qualcomm were seen as follows:
- BMO Capital Markets lowered Qualcomm’s price target price to $54 from $60.
- Cowen maintained its Outperform rating but lowered its price target to $70 from $73.
- Mizuho maintained its Buy rating but lowered its target price from $75 to $68.
- Stifel reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price target to $65 from $64.
- Susquehanna lowered its target price to $63 from $70.
Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf did address the pending acquisition of NXP. He said:
We will continue to protect the value of our technologies, which enables today’s robust mobile communications ecosystem, and invest in R&D that will drive the leading edge of mobile computing and connectivity for decades to come – focusing on areas where our technologies will have the most impact and generate the best returns. With our leading technology roadmap and pending acquisition of NXP, we are positioned to address a larger set of opportunities ahead than any other time in our history.
Qualcomm shares were last seen down 0.45% at $52.38, in a 52-week trading range of $50.11 to $71.62.
NXP Semiconductors traded up 0.15%, at $104.39 in a 52-week range of $73.62 to $107.54.