Shares of mobile chip designer Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) soared on Wednesday, jumping 4% and within shouting distance of two-year highs set back in January. The catalyst? Management took the stage at the annual analyst meeting to reaffirm its guidance for the coming year. Mind you, the original guidance is less than three weeks old, but a lot of water has run under the bridges since then.

Qualcomm expects to "return to growth" in 2011, starting slow and ending stronger. New versions of the Snapdragon platform will bring dual-core computing and snappier graphics performance to the leading smartphone chipset, keeping pace with similar upgrades for the NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA) Tegra, Samsung Hummingbird, Marvell (Nasdaq: MRVL) Armada, and Texas Instruments (Nasdaq: TXN) OMAP product lines, among others. Staying at the forefront of the smartphone and tablet processor pack will be a challenge, but Qualcomm's management feels up to the task and predicts great unit volume growth and stable pricing throughout 2011.

And just in case the processor thing doesn't work out in the long run, Qualcomm will invest $975 million in manufacturing facilities for its high-tech Mirasol display technology. That effort will lose the company money in 2011, and the total investment is expected to reach $2 billion when all is said and done -- but Mirasol should become a reportable business segment of its own in due time and maybe even contribute to the bottom line. Not that there's any shortage of next-generation display technologies, as any investor in Universal Display (Nasdaq: PANL) will tell you, but this one could be the ideal solution for e-readers and smartphones often viewed in direct sunlight. Hey, you gotta find your niche!

So Qualcomm is basically rising because management didn't throw a wet blanket over earlier growth expectations. I've heard better reasons for sudden price pops, but also a lot flimsier. Qualcomm's business strength has been obvious for a lot longer than three weeks, and The Fool bought a few shares back in July because of "its position in the driver's seat for both the current and next generation of technology."

Would you buy this stock today, at 16 times projected forward earnings? Lay out the wherefores and whatnots in the comments below.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Universal Display is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. NVIDIA is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. The Fool owns shares of Marvell Technology Group and Qualcomm. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.