Qualcomm soars after sales and earnings beat expectations

Key Points
  • Qualcomm reported fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday.
  • Qualcomm stock rose in extended trading as its revenue and adjusted earnings per share beat Wall Street expectations.

In this article

Steve Mollenkopf, chief executive officer of Qualcomm Inc.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Qualcomm stock rose more than 11% in extended trading as its revenue and adjusted earnings per share handily beat Wall Street expectations.

Here's how Qualcomm did versus Refinitiv consensus estimates for the quarter ended Sept. 27:

  • Earnings: $1.45 per share (adjusted) vs. $1.17 estimated
  • Revenue: $6.5 billion (adjusted) vs $5.93 billion estimated

Qualcomm said that it would change its reporting to break out revenue from handset, radio frequency, automotive and internet-of-things chips. Qualcomm said that it would not break out results or provide guidance for MSM chips, which are mobile modem chips.

Previously, those business lines were reported together under Qualcomm's QCT segment, which focuses on chips. QCT sales were up 38% from the same quarter last year to $4.97 billion, Qualcomm said.

Qualcomm's other big segment is QTL, which includes licensing fees it collects from other technology companies because of its ownership of telecommunications patents. QTL revenue increased 30% from the same period last year to $1.51 billion.

Net income was up 76% from a year ago, Qualcomm said.

Qualcomm provided guidance for its fiscal first-quarter ending in December. It said that it expected revenue between $7.8 billion and $8.6 billion, and adjusted EPS between $1.95 and $2.15.

Qualcomm said it adjusted its earnings and revenue because it excluded several items, including $1.8 billion resulting from a settlement agreement with Huawei, a segment related to strategic investments, and share-based compensation.

Qualcomm has said it is well-placed to benefit from the rise of 5G networks and handsets. One of its 5G modem chips is included in Apple's iPhone 12. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said on a call with analysts that its fourth-quarter results included a "partial quarter impact" from a large U.S. handset maker, likely Apple.

Qualcomm said on Wednesday that it expects about 200 million smartphones with 5G to be shipped in 2020, and about 500 million 5G smartphones to be shipped in 2021. Qualcomm does not make smartphones but sells handset makers critical processing and modem chips. It's expecting "high-single-digit growth" in smartphone shipments, including 5G, 4G, and 3G phones, next year.

"Our fiscal fourth quarter results demonstrate that our investments in 5G are coming to fruition and
showing benefits in our licensing and product businesses," Mollenkopf said in a statement.

Last month, Qualcomm won a major court battle when an appeals court denied the FTC's request for a rehearing of a previous decision that found that Qualcomm's licensing business practices are legal, removing an overhanging issue the stock faced.