Rising Guidance Lifts Qualcomm

Lazard Capital Markets analyst Christin Armacost restated her “buy” rating and $63 12-month price target on wireless telecom equipment maker Qualcomm Inc., citing raised fiscal third-quarter guidance and strong prospects in the U.S. wireless market.

Qualcomm raised that guidance to revenue of $1.91 billion to $1.96 billion, versus previous guidance of $1.7 billion to $1.87 billion, and boosted projected earnings for the period to between 41 cents and 42 cents per share from projections of 38 cents to 40 cents per share.

Armacost also said in her report that Qualcomm’s strength in code division multiple access equipment in the U.S. and Europe is expected to remain strong.

But that might not be enough to alleviate investors, who fear inventories at Qualcomm’s biggest customers are rising, given some expectations of share loss to major handset manufacturers Motorola Inc. and Nokia Corp., which could impact future sales.

She added that the early lead of two of Qualcomm’s biggest customers — Samsung Telecommunications America and Sanyo — in providing handsets that work on High-Speed Downlink Packet Access networks, which allow carriers to provide advanced multimedia services, should enable the company to regain some market share.