Qualcomm Inc., the biggest maker of mobile-phone chips, gave a forecast for fiscal 2012 sales that beat analysts’ estimates as more consumers upgrade to phones that surf the Web.
Sales for the year ending in September 2012 will be $18 billion to $19 billion, the San Diego-based company said in a statement Wednesday. That compares with an average analyst estimate of $17.3 billion, according to Bloomberg data.
Qualcomm, which gets most of its profit from licenses on technology used in so-called 3G phones, is benefiting from more consumers switching to the technology -- especially in developing countries.
“If you’re Qualcomm, you definitely benefit from moving from 2G to 3G,” said Mike Burton, a New York-based analyst at Kaufman Bros. He recommends buying Qualcomm shares, which he doesn’t own himself.
Qualcomm shares rose in late trading after the report. The stock, up 5.4 percent this year, had closed at $52.18 at the close in New York.
Qualcomm, whose customers include Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc., licenses its code division multiple access, or CDMA, technology to handset makers and wireless carriers.
Fourth-quarter net income was $1.06 billion, or 62 cents a share, compared with $865 million, or 53 cents, a year earlier. Revenue was $4.12 billion, up 39 percent. Analysts on average projected that the company would report profit of 66 cents on sales of $4 billion.
Qualcomm aims to expand the reach of its chips with a microprocessor called Snapdragon. That chip is now running smartphones based on Google Inc.’s Android operating system. The company is also trying to sell Snapdragon to tablet makers.
The processor will be used in tablets and computers that will run future versions of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows software, putting Qualcomm in more direct competition with Intel Corp., the world’s largest chipmaker.
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