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Why Qualcomm and Cirrus Got Crushed After Earnings

It was a quiet day in the markets as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) was off just 26.91 points, down 0.16%. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) , on the other hand, moved up 3.48 points, or 0.18%. Following their respective earnings reports, shares of wireless giant Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM  ) and analog and mixed-signal chip supplier Cirrus Logic (NASDAQ: CRUS  ) slumped.

Qualcomm gets hit with China licensing woes
Qualcomm reported a strong quarter, handily beating analyst revenue and earnings-per-share consensus by $290 million and $0.22, respectively. Its chip business surged, with MSM shipments growing 31% year over year to hit 225 million -- blowing past its guided range of 198 million -- 213 million units.

What is likely driving the stock lower is a muted near-term outlook for company's technology licensing business, known as QTL. Since Qualcomm owns a portfolio of fundamental patents related to 3G and 4G LTE technologies, it is entitled to collect royalties on the sales of devices that implement these standards. This is the major profit driver of Qualcomm's business.

In particular, Qualcomm has indicated that this lowered outlook is due to a major Chinese handset OEM not currently paying royalties on its 3G and 4G device shipments. Additionally, Qualcomm's management has signaled that it believes that there are other Chinese OEMs that are under-reporting their device shipments -- negatively affecting sales and profits.

Shares are down 4.22% in after-hours trading as of writing.

Cirrus Logic serves up a beat alongside in-line guidance
Shares of Cirrus Logic, which develops analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, most prominently audio CODECs and audio amplifiers for Apple's products, slumped just over 6% in after-hours trading following the release of its earnings results.

The company reported sales of $152.6 million, gross margin of 49%, and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.37. This compares favorably to the midpoint of revenue guidance of $135 million to $155 million and gross margin percentage of between 47% and 49%. Consensus estimates for the top and bottom lines sat at $148.03 million and $0.30, respectively, so this is a clear beat.

Cirrus Logic's outlook for the current quarter calls for sales of between $175 million and $195 million, the midpoint of which is in-line with consensus. Given that Cirrus' shares have seen strength over the last six months in anticipation of the coming iPhone 6 ramp, simply meeting expectations may not be good enough for growth-hungry investors.

It will be important to pay attention to tear-downs of the next-generation iPhone and iPad models to see if the company has maintained or lost content share. Following that, Cirrus' shares will likely then be driven by the success/failure of these Apple products in the market.

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Ashraf Eassa

Ashraf Eassa is a technology specialist with The Motley Fool. He writes mostly about technology stocks, but is especially interested in anything related to chips -- the semiconductor kind, that is. Follow him on Twitter:

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8/31/2015 4:57 PM
^DJI $16528.03 Down -114.98 -0.69%
^GSPC $1972.18 Down -16.69 -0.84%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars
CRUS $30.16 Down -0.05 -0.17%
Cirrus Logic CAPS Rating: ****
QCOM $56.58 Down -0.39 -0.68%
Qualcomm CAPS Rating: ****
AAPL $112.76 Down -0.53 -0.47%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****