Broadcom Dodged a Bullet Tonight

Last week, the market punished chip designer QUALCOMM (Nasdaq: QCOM  ) for a weak next-quarter outlook -- strong current results be damned. We were left to wonder if Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM  ) would hit the same speed trap today. The two companies tend to serve the same gadget-building customers, selling different parts of the wireless communications tool chain for the same devices.

Broadcom's numbers are in, and share prices are holding up fairly well. Like Qualcomm, Broadcom edged out analyst estimates: Wall Street expected sales of $1.83 billion. The revenue target was spot on but investors were treated to $0.65 of non-GAAP diluted earnings per share.

Management doesn't do earnings guidance, but the top line should grow to roughly $1.95 billion next quarter. Excluding acquisition-related charges, gross margins should stay stable at 52%. Operating expenses should rise slower than revenues, which logically leads to higher bottom-line profits.

CEO Scott McGregor didn't try very hard to explain the puts and takes in the quarter, other than highlighting the portfolio-stretching nature of three smallish acquisitions. More detail should be forthcoming in the conference call; Look for deeper Foolish analysis of Broadcom's situation when we have that vital information in hand.

But, I think it's fair to say that Qualcomm's wafer shortage problems aren't hurting Broadcom today. This company is free to milk its tuck-in acquisitions and the exploding market for mobile communications while others worry about leading-edge manufacturing technologies. Sometimes, "good enough" really is good enough.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. The Motley Fool owns shares of QUALCOMM. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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