Qualcomm’s (QCOM) Surprise

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According to MarketWatch: Qualcomm reported earnings of $798 million, or 47 cents a share, for the quarter ended July 1 compared with earnings of $643 million, or 37 cents a share, for the same period last year.

Excluding charges related to stock options, the company said earnings would have come in at $934 million, or 55 cents per share, for the quarter. This beat the 52 cents per share expected by Wall Street, according to analysts polled by Thomson Financial.
Revenue grew 19% to $2.33 billion from $1.95 billion, beating the $2.27 billion expected by analysts..
So, what happened to the disputes with its largest customer, Nokia (NOK)? And Broadcom (BRCM) beating it up and taking its lunch money at the ITC?
More surprising than the earnings was the guidance. Qualcomm lifted its revenue forecast for the fourth fiscal quarter to a range of $2.15 billion to $2.25 billion, an increase of 8% to 13% from its prior guidance. It expects earnings per share to fall between 48 cents and 50 cents for the period. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 47 cents a share on revenue of $2.21 billion for the quarter.
Demand for Qualcomm’s 3G chips and IP may simply be too great for all of its competition to overcome. WiMax may not hurt Qualcomm. Patent challenges from Broadcom, Nokia, and others may not dent future earnings.
In a way, the company has become like the Microsoft (MSFT) of 20 years ago, or Apple (AAPL) today. The products Qualcomm makes are strong enough and its market share is large enough that challengers simply can’t fight it.
Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at douglasamcintyre@247wallst.com.