Qualcomm Cuts Outlook; Shares Plunge

Wireless technology developer Qualcommon Thursday posted a higher quarterly profit as revenue rose, but a disappointing outlook for the current quarter and year ahead sent its shares tumbling.

Qualcomm shares fell more than 9 percent in after-hours trade, having ended regular market-hours trade down 3.5 percent, at $39.76 on the Nasdaq.

Qualcomm said profit rose to $1.13 billion, or 67 cents per share, for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, from $614 million, or 36 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose to $2.31 billion from $2 billion.

In September, it had raised its forecast for GAAP earnings per share to 64 cents to 65 cents from its previous target of 41 cents to 43 cents, and forecast revenue at the high end of its target range of $2.15 billion to $2.25 billion.

Qualcomm forecast full-year earnings per share, excluding its investment arm and other items, for its fiscal year 2008 of $2.03 to $2.09. That was below analysts' average forecast of $2.19 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company forecast 2008 revenue of $9.5 billion to $9.9 billion, below average analyst expectations of $9.97 billion.

Its forecast for first-quarter 2008 earnings per share was 50 cents to 52 cents, excluding its investment arm and other items. Average analyst estimates were for for earnings of 53 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.