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Why Qualcomm Shares Fell 12.9% in February Despite a Solid Earnings Report

By Anders Bylund - Mar 8, 2021 at 2:06PM

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The mobile chip titan beat earnings expectations in the first quarter, but the surprise just wasn't big enough to support the surging stock.

What happened

Shares of Qualcomm (QCOM 0.79%) fell 12.9% in February 2021, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The semiconductor giant posted strong first-quarter results and bullish second-quarter guidance on Feb. 4, triggering an immediate 10% haircut.

So what

Qualcomm beat Wall Street's first-quarter earnings expectations alongside in-line revenues. For the next quarter, Qualcomm's revenue guidance sits 7% above the analyst consensus, and the bottom-line guidance target was 5% above the average analyst's projection at the time.

Strong results can't always support a skyrocketing stock, though. Qualcomm entered February on a full head of steam, having gained 83% in 52 weeks. The bar for investor-pleasing excellence was incredibly high and the analyst-stumping numbers still weren't impressive enough.

Two hands giving thumbs-up and thumbs-down signs in front of several uncut wafers of semiconductor silicon.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

In all fairness, Qualcomm's recent drops can be categorized as profit-taking. The world-leading provider of communications and networking chips is thriving in the age of 5G network installations and the related explosion of Internet of Things devices.

"It is exciting to see the strategy we laid out several years ago, playing out largely as expected," CEO Steve Mollenkopf said on the earnings call. "I look forward to seeing where the company goes. It's exceedingly well-positioned."

The stock is trading at reasonable valuation ratios such as 22 times trailing earnings and five times sales. All told, February's pullback feels like an invitation to pick up a few Qualcomm shares.

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