Qualcomm Q4 results: 5G investments “coming to fruition” in earnings beat

By Robert Scammell

Semiconductor maker Qualcomm has reported an earnings beat in its fiscal fourth-quarter results, with revenue up 73% year on year to $8.35bn.

Net income for the quarter ended 27 September stood at $2.96bn, leading to diluted earnings per share of $2.58.

Adjusted revenue stood at $6.5bn beating Wall Street estimates of $5.94bn, while adjusted earnings per share also surpassed expectations, coming in at $1.45 versus estimates of $1.17.

Qualcomm’s strong Q4 results pushed revenue for fiscal year 2020 up to $23.53bn, up 3% on 2019. Net income for 2020 totalled $5.2bn.

The San Diego headquartered firm, which makes and licenses semiconductors, services and software for the wireless technology sector, said its investments in 5G technologies were “coming to fruition”.

This year the company also overturned an anti-trust ruling against it and settled a licensing dispute with Chinese smartphone maker Huawei.

Shares jump on Qualcomm Q4 results

Analysts expect the growing adoption of 5G to boost Qualcomm’s revenues going forward. The company has signed multi-year licensing agreements to provide 5G chips for all the major handset manufacturers.

This includes Apple’s iPhone 12, which was released in October, but the sales impact will not be felt until next quarter and beyond.

Qualcomm said it expects global 5G smartphone sales to hit 200 million in 2020.

“Our fiscal fourth-quarter results demonstrate that our investments in 5G are coming to fruition and showing benefits in our licensing and product businesses,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm in a statement.

“We concluded the year with exceptional fourth-quarter results and are well-positioned for growth in 2021 and beyond. As the pace of disruption in wireless technology accelerates, we will continue to drive growth and scale across our RF front-end, Automotive and IoT adjacencies.”

Qualcomm gave fiscal 2021 Q1 revenue guidance of $7.8bn to $8.6bn and adjusted earnings per share between $1.95 and $2.15.

Qualcomm shares jumped by 3% on the news. Its shares are up 45% since the start of the year.

 Read more: Qualcomm chipsets will drive affordable 5G phones


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