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Qualcomm shares slip after earnings

  • Qualcomm reported third-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates.
  • Shares are sliding in after hours.
  • The company is embroiled in a legal dispute with Apple and some of its suppliers, on a disagreement over royalty payments.

Qualcomm is confident it has the upper hand in its legal battle with Apple, which began with a $1 billion royalty dispute in January.

The San Diego-based company revealed its optimism in its third-quarter earnings report on Wednesday.

"We believe that we hold the high ground with regard to the dispute with Apple, and we have initiated new actions to protect the well-established value of our technologies," Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said in a statement.

Results vs. expectations

  • EPS: 83 cents per share vs 81 cents per share expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.
  • Revenue: $5.3 billion vs $5.26 billion expected by a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

In the year ago quarter, Qualcomm reported earnings of $1.16 a share on $6.04 billion in revenue.

Revenue declined 12 percent year-over-year. Shares of Qualcomm slipped by more than 1 percent in after-hours trading.

Aside from Mollenkopf's confidence, little has changed in Qualcomm's legal dispute with Apple. The disagreement over Qualcomm licensing fees began when Taiwanese contract manufacturers stopped paying royalties.

"Everybody's suing everybody," CNBC's Jon Fortt said of the current situation, before adding that "details have not changed" after Wednesday's earnings release.

Late April, Qualcomm lowered its third-quarter revenue forecast amid the dispute with Apple, which claims it is being charged "at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors we have agreements with combined."

Qualcomm said at the time that Apple indicated it would withhold future royalty payments until that conflict is resolved.

Earlier Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that a number of Apple suppliers are joining the iPhone maker in its case against Qualcomm. Apple is reportedly covering the legal expenses associated with the companies' defense.

Apple teaming up with its contract manufacturers proves Qualcomm's case, President Derek Aberle argued in a conference call with investors and analysts.

"If Apple hadn't interfered with the licenses and instructed the contract manufacturers to take these actions the contract manufacturers would not be contesting the licenses now," Aberle said.

Earlier this year, Qualcomm received approval from U.S. antitrust regulators for its proposed $47 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors. Mollenkopf expects the deal to finish without any disruptions.

Qualcomm is confident that the end of the year will be good for its business, especially highlighting its non-mobile business — especially automotive and industrial internet — which is up 30 percent this year.

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