Qualcomm Earnings and Guidance Dodge Big Concerns, Pending the Apple Outcome

Print Email

QUALCOMM Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) has reported its fiscal fourth quarter earnings for 2017. Its shares had been hurt in the wake of serious infighting with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), and there is even talk now that Apple is planning to skip over Qualcomm entirely in future iPhones and iPads. That being said, the numbers were probably much better than some investors may have worried about.

It should be widely expected that most of the analyst questions are going to be around Apple in the conference call, but it should also be expected that Qualcomm will be less than specific about the ongoing litigation.

The chip-maker reported earnings of $0.92 on its adjusted earnings per share (EPS) and revenue was $6 billion. Qualcomm’s estimates from Thomson Reuters were revenue of $5.8 billion and  $0.81 EPS.

Qualcomm gave guidance calling for adjusted earnings of $0.85 to $0.95 per share on revenues of $5.5 billion to $6.3 billion for the first quarter of 2018.  Consensus estimates were seen at $0.90 EPS and $5.9 billion in revenues.

Be advised that the Apple outcome could materially change its guidance. Qualcomm pointed out that its financial guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2018 excludes QTL revenues related to the sale of Apple products by Apple’s contract manufacturers. it also excludes the sale of products by the other licensee in dispute as Qualcomm expects the recent actions taken by these licensees will continue until the respective disputes are resolved.

The company also forecast that it would have MSM chip shipments of 220 million to 240 million units. That is a year over year increase of 1% to 11% but is versus 220 million MSM shipments in the fourth quarter.

The company’s cash and cash equivalents was $38.6 billion at the end of the quarter, versus $32.4 billion a year ago and $37.8 billion at the end of the prior quarter. Qualcomm also deposited $2.0 billion to collateralize the letters of credit related to its proposed acquisition of NXP; and on October 27, 2016, it announced a definitive agreement to acquire NXP Semiconductors N.V. for and estimated $38 billion in total cash.

Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm, said of the results:

Our fourth quarter and fiscal 2017 results reflect continued product leadership and profitability improvement in our semiconductor business, including strength in adjacent opportunities outside mobile. We continue to see strong growth trends for global 3G/4G device shipments and are focused on protecting the established value of our technologies and inventions. We are leading the industry to 5G and are well positioned with our product and technology leadership to continue our expansion into many exciting new product categories, such as automotive, mobile computing, networking and the Internet of Things.

Shares of Qualcomm closed up 4.8% at $53.46 on Wednesday, versus a 52-week range of $48.92 to $70.24. The chip-maker’s consensus analyst price target from Thomson Reuters was last seen at $59.25.

This stock was up marginally in the after-hours following this report, but with many questions still pending this should remain unfinished business.