Qualcomm Pops on Earnings Beat

Tech giant Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) beat diminished expectations with an earnings report released Wednesday afternoon, sending shares higher early Thursday.

Qualcomm reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $506 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $4.81 billion, down from $5.83 billion a year ago. After adjusting for stock-based compensation and other effects, the chip maker reported earnings of 78 cents a share, down from 90 cents a share a year ago.

Analysts on average expected adjusted earnings of 71 cents a share on sales of $4.76 billion, down significantly from expectations ahead of Qualcomm's previous earnings report. At the end of July, analysts expected adjusted earnings of $1.09 a share on sales of $5.67 billion.

Qualcomm said in its previous earnings report that customers were slowing down their purchases of 4G equipment ahead of the launch of 5G, which isn’t expected to boost Qualcomm results until the beginning of the 2020 calendar year. That led one analyst to say last summer that "things seem set to stink for the next two quarters" for Qualcomm.

The company's forecast calls for fiscal first-quarter adjusted earnings of 80 cents to 90 cents a share on sales of $4.4 billion to $5.2 billion, after Qualcomm posted first-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.20 a share on sales of $4.82 billion in the just-completed year.

Shares started Thursday leaped $6.14, or 7.3%, to $90.77