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This is Qualcomm's (Nasdaq: QCOM ) time to shine.
Last night, the company reported fourth-quarter and full-year earnings that continue to benefit from widespread smartphone adoption. Fourth-quarter revenue jumped a healthy 39% year over year to $4.1 billion, finishing off fiscal 2011 with just under $15 billion for the full year.
Bottom-line profit was no slacker either, jumping 22% in the fourth quarter to $1.1 billion, or $0.62 per share. The company pocketed a healthy $4.3 billion in profit for the year, or $2.52 per share.
The good news keeps coming, as Qualcomm's first-quarter guidance also paints a rosy picture. The company expects revenue in the range of $4.4 billion to $4.8 billion, which would represent a 30% and 42% year-over-year gain, respectively. Next year's revenue is forecasted to be between $18 billion and $19 billion. Compare that with rival Texas Instruments' (NYSE: TXN ) less-than-stellar guidance.
Just about every 3G device out there contributes to Qualcomm's licensing revenue, because of its massive IP portfolio for the technology. Licensing revenue for the quarter jumped 44% as 3G adoption in emerging markets showed particular strength. It also doesn't hurt that Qualcomm is the sole supplier of world-mode basebands in Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) new iPhone 4S, which has been flying off shelves.
Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs conceded that the company hasn't seen a lot of upside to tablet growth quite yet because of slower adoption of Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Android devices, but he's optimistic about the company's prospects once Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) Windows 8 is released into the wild.
Next year should also see the introduction of a quad-core ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH ) -based Snapdragon mobile processor geared toward 4G LTE devices, in order to take on NVIDIA's (Nasdaq: NVDA ) quad-core Tegra and TI's OMAP 5.
Even though stateside we're getting ready to migrate toward 4G LTE, much of the world is still in the early stages of getting on the 3G bandwagon, led by populous nations like China and India. There's really nothing to dislike about the announcement, and I can't imagine a better time to be a Qualcomm shareholder.