Qualcomm announces 17 per cent profit increase

Qualcomm has announced bumper quarterly financial results with steep increases in both revenue and profit.

Qualcomm has positioned itself as one of the principal chip vendors in the smartphone and tablet market through its Snapdragon range of system-on-chip (SoC) processors. The firm’s strategy is paying off handsomely, as it announced fiscal third quarter revenue of $4.63bn, 28 per cent higher than a year ago, with profit rising to $1.21bn, a 17 per cent increase from the same period last year.

Qualcomm said it shipped 141 million chips in the quarter, an 18 per cent increase from the previous year, and the firm said it expects more future sales to come from the fledging 4G handset market.

While the firm’s fiscal third quarter financials make it a leading chip vendor on the move, it joined Intel by reducing its sales forecast for its fourth quarter.

Paul Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm said, “Looking forward, our growth estimates for 3G/4G device shipments in calendar 2012 have moderated slightly, and we now expect the demand profile of the calendar year to be more back-end loaded as new devices are launched for the holiday season. Although our outlook for semiconductor volumes in the fiscal fourth quarter has been reduced from our prior expectations, we are ramping supply of our 28nm chipsets to help enable what we expect to be a strong December quarter for our semiconductor business.”

Qualcomm had complained earlier about supply shortages due to yield problems with TSMC’s 28nm process node, saying it was looking for a backup chip foundry. TSMC’s supply issues have eased somewhat though, and judging by Qualcomm’s financials, its bottom line was largely undamaged by the TSMC 28nm chip shortages.

With Jacobs expecting a sales boost in the run-up to the holiday period, October could see some interesting new devices appear on store shelves.