Plenty of uncertainties surround shares of Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), so much so that the stock is hovering again at yearly lows. Until the cases against the company’s dominance in key IP are resolved, investors could risk more paper losses.
Even the positive technology developments for the company are not doing much to get buyers bidding the stock higher.
Recent Technology Developments for Qualcomm
Qualcomm is reportedly adding 3D sensing to smartphone camera sensors. While some manufacturers added dual rear-camera sensors, Qualcomm is creating cameras that have infrared illuminators for active depth sensing.
It is worth noting that Himax Technologies, Inc. (ADR) (NASDAQ:HIMX) is one of the Taiwanese firms working with the company. Markets are recognizing that Himax’s work in 3D-scanning will become mainstream features in the next generation of smartphones. For QCOM stock holders, the investment broadens the company beyond just mobile modems, processors and dividend income (QCOM stock pays a dividend yielding around 4.4%).
On Aug. 9, Qualcomm announced a partnership in developing 5G NR-related technology. As IoT (Internet-of-things) and demand for faster mobile networking grows, 5G is where the industry will get to next. Qualcomm’s developments in this field will keep its mobile unit prepared, once the shift to 5G takes place.
Third-Quarter Results a Distant Memory for Investors
During its third-quarter conference call, Qualcomm highlighted the release of Snapdragon 600 and 835, which it believes will keep the company ahead competitively in China. Even when its dispute with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which deducts from the shipment count, is accounted for, Qualcomm still expects shipment growth for 2017.
The revenue momentum from Snapdragon 835 will last beyond one quarter. For the fourth quarter, management expects supplies for the 10nm chip will meet demand levels in the premium market. The 600-series chip will address the lower tiers of the smartphone market.
Both products have a competitive edge: integrating the wifi modem with the processor saves space, increases efficiency and simplifies the architecture for devices.
Management forecasts shipments of these integrated 3G and 4G-based devices will grow 6% year-on-year to between 1.75 billion and 1.85 billion devices. In the third quarter, Qualcomm generated revenue of $5.4 billion and earned 83 cents per share. EBIT margin was a respectable 14.2%. Qualcomm returned $1.1 billion to investors through share buybacks and dividend payments.
Looking ahead, the company issued a conservative fourth-quarter outlook. It forecast revenue falling around 6% to $5.4 billion to $6.2 billion. EPS will be between 75 cents and 85 cents a share. The company is excluding Apple-related revenue until the court resolves the dispute. In doing so, investors are not paying any premium on QCOM stock at today’s prices. This sets up a potential easy gain for investors: the court’s ruling against Apple would likely give investors positive return because the scenario is not priced in the shares.
NXP Semiconductor Progress
Qualcomm expects its deal to buy NXP Semiconductors NV (NASDAQ:NXPI) will close. Although regulatory approvals may slow the process, the chances of the buyout breaking down are low. NXP is strategically significant for Qualcomm’s future. The smartphone market demand moves in cycles and is volatile. But NXP will broaden the merged company’s business in the automotive market.
With a dividend yield of 4.4% and a discounted price-to-earnings ratio of under 20 times, QCOM stock is attractive for value investors. The rebound in its shares will not happen overnight, so investors need to have a multiyear time horizon when buying this stock.
As of this writing, Chris Lau owned shares of HIMX stock.