Qualcomm's strength in the CDMA space continued to pay off in the fourth quarter as the company posted record numbers in chip volumes and earnings per share.
The company shipped 111 million of its CDMA-based mobile station modem (MSM) chips in the fourth quarter, helping to boost sales up 10 percent to $2.95 billion. The rise in sales was reflected in profits, which rose eight percent over last year to $865 million, or 53 cents per share.
"We're extremely well positioned to take advantage of key 3G growth opportunities in both developed and emerging regions around the world," said Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs in the company's earnings call.
For the full year 2010, Qualcomm made $3.25 billion, or $1.96 per share, on sales of $10.99 billion. The company shipped about 400 million of its MSM chips over the past year, a 26 percent increase from 2009, and CDMA-based device shipments were estimated at between 561 million and 577 million units, with an average selling price of about $183 to $189 per unit.
Looking ahead, the company said it expects CDMA and multimode device shipments to rise 20 percent over the next year to about 765 million units.
The company touted its Mirasol display business and expects to have a limited commercial launch of 5.7-inch display devices in the first half of next year. Mirasol displays have low power consumption, are viewable in sunlight and support color, video and touch.
The company's mobile television service was the one sour spot in its earnings announcement. Qualcomm earlier announced it was stepping back from the direct-to-consumer portion of its Flo TV service. The company is evaluating its options and may switch to a wholesale model, sell the division altogether or auction off Flo's spectrum holdings and discontinue its network operations.