NEW YORK – Wireless technology company Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) posted a higher fiscal first-quarter profit Wednesday on strong cellphone demand, but its shares fell as some investors were disappointed by its financial outlook.
San Diego-based Qualcomm said it expected second quarter earnings of 35 cents to 37 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $1.63 billion to $1.73 billion. This compares with average analyst estimates for earnings of 36 cents a share, on revenue of $1.73 billion according to Reuters Estimates.
Stifel Nicolaus analyst Cody Acree said Qualcomm's quarterly revenue was slightly lower than analyst estimates and that earnings and revenue guidance was disappointing.
"Their earnings are in line with expectations for this quarter and the next, but there was no upside and the stock was priced for some degree of upside," Acree said.
Qualcomm shares traded at $46.80 in late trading on Inet, down from their close of $47.58 on Nasdaq.
Its net income for the quarter ended Dec. 25 rose to $620 million, or 36 cents per diluted share, from $513 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding items such as its investment arm, Qualcomm said it earned 39 cents a share.
Total revenue rose to $1.74 billion from $1.39 billion a year ago.
On average, analysts were expecting first-quarter earnings of 38 cents a share on revenue of $1.76 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.
Shares of Qualcomm, which sells technology licenses and chips for mobile phones, have risen about 26 percent in the last 12 months compared with a roughly 32 percent rise for the Philadelphia Stock Exchange index of semiconductor stocks .
The stock has been boosted recently as it seen as one of the best ways to invest in emerging wireless technologies because it dominates the market for chips based on CDMA, a mobile phone technology that is popular in the United States.
It also makes chips for phones based on W-CDMA, a high- speed wireless technology that is emerging in Europe.
Qualcomm's price to earnings ratio based on its closing price Tuesday was 32 times analyst estimates for 2006 earnings compared with ratio of 20 for Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN), which makes chips for everything from cellphones to televisions.