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QCOM Posts Record Earnings on Chip Sales, Licensing

Thu, 11/03/2011 - 8:20am
Maisie Ramsay

Qualcomm posted record increases in sales and profits for its fiscal fourth quarter Wednesday on surging growth in the global smartphone market.

Sales spiked nearly 40 percent over last year's fourth quarter to $4.12 billion, helping the company post a 24 percent gain in profits, which hit $1.37 billion.

For its full 2011 fiscal year, Qualcomm made $5.41 billion on sales of $14.96 billion.

Qualcomm makes most of its money off licensing CDMA technology to handset manufacturers and wireless operators.

In an earnings call, CEO Paul Jacobs said demand for cell phones appears to be weathering problems in the global economy.

"In the coming year, we expect continued healthy growth in CDMA-based device shipments despite the macroeconomic slowdown," he said, according to a transcript of the call provided by Seeking Alpha.

Looking ahead, Qualcomm expects its first-quarter 2012 sales to hit between $4.3 billion and $4.75 billion, up to a 42 percent increase over last year.

Its full-year 2012 outlook pegs sales at between $18 billion and $19 billion, a more than 20 percent increase over 2011. Full-year profits are expected to rise between 11 percent and 19 percent.

Jacobs provided little comment on the company's $1.9 billion sale of its Flo TV spectrum to AT&T beyond saying he believes the deal should be approved as "expeditiously as possible." The FCC has combined its review of the sale with the T-Mobile deal, slowing down the approval process.

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