Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is perhaps the most interesting tech stock story of this group. Founded in 1985, it muddled through the 1990s and then exploded during the dot-com days — reaching a split-adjusted price of almost $90 in 1999. It then suffered a gut-wrenching ride down to a mere $15 per share in the next three years.
In the mid-2000s, however, Qualcomm was back in fashion as the cellphone became ubiquitous worldwide and the company got some of its swagger back. However, the rise of the smartphone was starting to make some feel like QCOM was a tech dinosaur.
Now, Qualcomm has forged a highly lucrative contract with Apple for the use of its proprietary CDMS mobile technology in the iconic iPhone. That has taken the stock from dead money back into growth mode — with AAPL a large driver of the nearly 40% revenue growth Qualcomm saw from fiscal 2010 to 2011.
Will this recent momentum last for Qualcomm? Seems like it could. And the fact that this company is worth $100 billion and sitting on an $11.5 billion pile of cash should provide some peace of mind.