Qualcomm forecasts quarterly profit above estimates, shares rise

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) – Qualcomm on Wednesday forecast fiscal second-quarter profit slightly above Wall Street estimates and sales in line with market expectations, as a new line of AI-enabled chips helps power it out of last year’s smartphone slump.

Qualcomm predicted sales and adjusted profit with a midpoint of $9.30 billion and $2.30 per share for the current fiscal second quarter ending in March. The outlook compares with analyst estimates of $9.30 billion and $2.25 per share, according to data from LSEG.

Qualcomm shares were up 2.4% in after-hours trading after the results. In addition to the results, the company said on Wednesday it has reached a chip supply deal with Samsung to supply chips globally for its top-end Galaxy S24 model.

Qualcomm is the biggest supplier of chips to a smartphone market that had its worst sales year in a decade in 2023. As the smartphone industry slowly recovers, Qualcomm is facing competition on multiple fronts, with Huawei and Samsung Electronics both selling phones powered by in-house chips and Taiwan’s MediaTek challenging Qualcomm’s stronghold in mid- and premium-tier Android phones.

But the San Diego, California, company last year renewed a chip supply deal with Apple. It is also expanding into other markets such as personal computers, with partners such as Dell Technologies and Lenovo Group expected to debut laptops with chips that Qualcomm claims are faster than Apple’s in-house processors.

For the fiscal first quarter ended on Dec. 24, Qualcomm reported sales and adjusted profit of $9.94 billion and $2.75 per share, above estimates of $9.52 billion and $2.37 per share, according to LSEG data.

In Qualcomm’s chip segment, the company forecast fiscal second-quarter sales with a midpoint of $7.9 billion, above analyst estimates of $7.86 billion. Qualcomm predicted second- quarter sales with a midpoint of $1.3 billion in its patent-licensing business, in line with estimates of $1.3 billion.

For the just-ended fiscal first quarter, Qualcomm said chip and licensing revenues were $8.42 billion and $1.46 billion, respectively, above/below analyst estimates of $7.99 billion and $1.41 billion, according to LSEG data.

Within its chip business, Qualcomm said that mobile handsets generated $6.69 billion in sales in the first quarter, above estimates of $6.37 billion, according to data from Visible Alpha. Automotive and Internet-of-Things chip revenues in the first quarter were $598 million and $1.14 billion, respectively, compared with analyst estimates of $518.3 million and $1.22 billion.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Arsheeya Singh Bajwa in Bengaluru and Max A. Cherney in San Francisco; Editing by Matthew Lewis)