Once again Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) has announced its quarterly earnings, and once again, investors don't care. OK, they actually do, but they care about something else far more than the financials themselves.

Less than a year ago, Qualcomm trumped its own fiscal third-quarter 2008 earnings with news that it was burying the hatchet and entering into a licensing agreement with longtime bitter rival Nokia (NYSE:NOK). This time, a settlement with corporate arch-enemy Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) has upstaged the company's results.

Qualcomm delayed its results over the weekend so that it could reflect the impact of the Broadcom settlement in its numbers -- a hefty $748 million charge that goes toward settling all outstanding litigation. Overall, Qualcomm will pay Broadcom $891 million over a four-year period, bringing an end to numerous court battles as well as active complaints at the International Trade Commission, European Commission, and the Korea Fair Trade Commission.

Qualcomm has been at loggerheads with Broadcom for years, with the latter aggressively asserting itself into the market for advanced mobile communications. In some ways, Broadcom had even proved itself tougher in court, emerging with the upper hand in numerous disputes in a number of regions, and even dragging Qualcomm's customers into the fray. No surprise, then, that Qualcomm was relieved to get those entanglements put aside.

With its legal maneuvers more or less over, investors' focus now falls on Qualcomm's end markets; surprisingly, they aren't doing as bad as some may think. The company still sees essentially zero growth on the top line, where it reported $2.45 billion in revenue for the quarter. While wireline divisions at carriers AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and Sprint Nextel are struggling in this weak economy, wireless is proving more resilient in demand than other telecommunications services.

In addition, Qualcomm sees several trends shifting in its favor. The recent move toward higher-end devices in the U.S. -- all those Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerries and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones -- is certainly music to Qualcomm's ears. And the company also reports that inventory levels are returning to normal, with developing markets -- where low-end devices are more prevalent -- driving replenishment.

While Qualcomm is still feeling the pain of impairments to its investments -- the company booked another $204 million impairment this quarter -- its future is looking better than it has in a long time.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock is considering taking impairment charges on his investments in Furbies. He owns shares of Qualcomm and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. Nokia and Sprint Nextel are Inside Value selections. Apple is a Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy will conquer evil, one villain at a time.