Qualcomm forecast falls short as Apple sales disappear

Technology

(Reuters) – Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates on Wednesday as it took a hit from the loss of chip sales to Apple Inc (AAPL.O), sending its shares down 2.5 percent.

A Qualcomm sign is seen during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China November 7, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song

The San Diego chipmaker also forecast its fiscal 2019 first-quarter profit above analysts’ estimates due to a one time tax benefit of about 45 cents per share while beating estimates for revenue in its fourth quarter.

Qualcomm is the world’s biggest supplier of chips for smartphones but it has been battered by a slowdown in the industry and the loss of major customer Apple Inc.

It has also faced repeated challenges to a patent licensing model where it takes a cut of the selling price of a mobile phone, both from antitrust regulators and from customers including Apple, which is suing Qualcomm over its practices.

Apple is not in talks “at any level” to settle the litigation with Qualcomm, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The iPhone maker has excluded Qualcomm from its new iPhones XS and XS Max that launched in September, instead choosing modem chip from rival Intel Corp (INTC.O).

Qualcomm forecast current quarter revenue of between $4.5 billion and $5.3 billion, and adjusted earnings of $1.05 to $1.15 per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $5.57 billion and earnings of 95 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Qualcomm has tried to offset some of the woes related to Apple and the lawsuits by easing some of its licensing requirements, which helped it retain large customers like Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) with new license deals.

The company had already warned its investors that it expected no revenue from Apple’s newest iPhones and has struck deals with Chinese mobile phone makers including Xiaomi Corp (1810.HK), Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus, all of which offer lower-cost models in emerging markets like India.

Excluding items, Qualcomm earned 90 cents per share, beating analysts’ estimates of 83 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Revenue fell to $5.80 billion, but was still above estimates of $5.52 billion.

Qualcomm’s loss was $493 million, or 35 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of $168 million, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier. bit.ly/2Pf8YvL

Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Patrick Graham

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