What happened

Qualcomm (QCOM -1.14%) stock couldn't quite keep pace with the broader market on Thursday, ending the day essentially flat while the S&P 500 index crept almost 0.8% higher. Some investors were dismayed by a new take on semiconductor companies from an analyst resuming coverage of the sector who was rather cool on Qualcomm's prospects.

So what

The (re)covering party was Raymond James analyst Srini Pajjuri, who resumed tracking a host of "semis." In addition to Qualcomm, the lineup included top sector players Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices, and Intel, among others.

Of the nine stocks, Pajjuri tagged two -- Nvidia and AMD -- as strong buys, rated four (including Intel) as outperform (buy, in other words), and three as mere market-perform (i.e., hold) candidates. Qualcomm was one of the latter trio.

Pajjuri's reasoning with regard to Qualcomm was that it should be able to ride the wave of a cyclical recovery in the semiconductor industry, but its tailwinds are dying down. 

Now what

This latest take on Qualcomm came less than a month after the company released its first-quarter fiscal 2023 results.

Battered by challenging macroeconomic conditions, its revenue and profits both fell by double-digit percentages in the quarter -- revenue declined by 12% on a year-over-year basis, while non-GAAP (adjusted) net income tumbled by nearly 30%. Crucially, its biggest hardware segment (mobile handsets) saw an 18% drop in sales. 

Analysts like Pajjuri are forecasting more pain for Qualcomm, though. Their collective revenue and net income estimates for both the current quarter and fiscal 2023 are down compared to their previous respective periods.