What happened

Shares of semiconductor giant Qualcomm (QCOM 1.56%) plunged on Thursday, falling as much as 6.8%. Analysts and investors were not impressed by the company's third-quarter earnings and Q4 guidance, which were published in tandem on Wednesday evening.

So what

Qualcomm's third-quarter sales rose by 37% year over year to $10.93 billion. Adjusted earnings increased 54%, landing at $2.96 per diluted share. Your average Wall Street analyst would have settled for earnings near $2.87 per share on sales in the neighborhood of $10.87 billion, so Qualcomm exceeded expectations across the board.

However, the company projected fourth-quarter revenue of roughly $11.4 billion, well below the current analyst consensus of $11.87 billion. As a supplier of critical components for smartphones, Qualcomm is experiencing weaker order volumes as its handset-building customers battle soft demand for new phones. Inflation-based budget concerns are everywhere nowadays.

Now what

Keep in mind that Qualcomm's revenue guidance points to a 22% year-over-year increase in Q4. That's disappointing only in the context of this quarter's 37% jump and last quarter's 41% sales boost. Any way you slice these numbers, Qualcomm is delivering impressive results as a world-leading supplier of 4G and 5G wireless networking components.

After Thursday's modest haircut, Qualcomm shares are trading at just 11.7 times forward earnings estimates and 3.5 times trailing sales. That's a high-octane growth stock in a value stock's clothing.