Qualcomm Kicks Off 2012 With a Bang

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Last quarter, Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM  ) shone bright with results that didn't slack in any department. The company has just kicked off its fiscal 2012 with first-quarter results. How did they come in?

Sales soared 40% to $4.68 billion, with operating income similarly jumping 32% to $1.87 billion. Down below, net income put up a healthy 24% rise, coming out to $0.97 per share in profit. Qualcomm generated just less than $1.5 billion in free cash flow during the quarter, or 32% of sales.

Mobile Station Modem (MSM) chipset shipments increased 32% to 156 million units, higher than its previously issued guidance of between 146 million and 154 million. Total reported device sales added up to roughly $41.4 billion, near the top end of its forecast. Estimated 3G/4G device shipments were between 191 million and 195 million, with an average selling price of between $212 and $218 per unit.

To follow up the solid figures, CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs said, "We are raising our revenue and earnings guidance as our broad licensing partnerships and extensive chipset roadmap, led by our integrated Snapdragon processors, position us well for strong growth in fiscal 2012." Second-quarter sales are forecasted in the ballpark of $4.6 billion to $5 billion, with earnings per share of $0.91 to $0.97.

Meanwhile, chip rival NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA  ) cut its guidance last week, after some of its PC-bound prospects were washed out by the Thailand floods last year. NVIDIA also blamed a slowdown in Tegra 2 shipments as it ramps up its quad-core Tegra 3 production. Qualcomm's own quad-core Snapdragons are due out this year.

On the flipside, NVIDIA is expected to introduce a processor with an integrated baseband this year, a competitive advantage Qualcomm has long enjoyed.

Qualcomm has also seen some upside lately on talk that Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) next iPhone will feature a quad-mode chip from Qualcomm that will facilitate 3G and 4G LTE connectivity. The current iPhone 4S was a nice win for Qualcomm, since it has more of a component presence in the latest model compared to the prior iPhone 4.

The figures are a strong follow-up to Qualcomm's similar showing last quarter, and shares are rallying after-hours to the highest they've been in the past decade. Well done, Qualcomm.

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Fool contributor Evan Niu has sold bullish put spreads on Qualcomm and NVIDIA. He owns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Qualcomm. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of NVIDIA and Apple, writing puts in NVIDIA, and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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