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Upbeat Qualcomm still minting it in

The barmy army marches on

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Qualcomm lost its President and COO and shelved plans to spin off its chipset business this week, but the telecommunications industry's answer to Millwall FC, "No one likes us - we don't care", is in the kind of financial shape many would envy.

The company reported pre-tax earnings of $268m on pro forma revenues of $640 million, the latter down from $714 in the same period last year. Margins remain steady at a handsome 62 per cent. Qualcomm expects revenues to rise 10 per cent in the next quarter, and retains $2 billion cash and investments. Sales of CDMA chipsets remains Qualcomm's biggest money earner, followed by IP licensing which fell by 26 per cent from the previous quarter.

CEO Irwin M. Jacobs said that plans to spin off the chipset business - prompted by the need to protect Qualcomm IP from litigation - were no longer an imperative. Qualcomm has been signing rather than suing its way out of potential trouble, with cross-licensing deals such as this one.

A kinder, gentler Qualcomm? Gosh... we're not sure if we'd be able to handle that. Qualcomm investors are in a class of their own when it comes to their sour and vitriolic bromides to Vulture Central, making Rambus and AMD's investors look like the gentle pussycats they really are.

Much in the same way that aggressive football teams attract a super-aggressive hooligan following, Qualcomm's barmy army is truly in a class of its own. If Qualcomm renounces pugilism, where will its loyal headbangers go? ®

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