No Surprises In Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) Q4 Sales Numbers But Stock Drops On Weak Guidance

Kayode Omotosho /
2022/11/02 4:46 pm EDT

Wireless chipmaker Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) reported results in line with analyst expectations in Q4 FY2022 quarter, with revenue up 22% year on year to $11.3 billion. However, guidance for the next quarter was less impressive, coming in at $9.6 billion at the midpoint, being 20.3% below analyst estimates. Qualcomm made a GAAP profit of $2.87 billion, improving on its profit of $2.79 billion, in the same quarter last year.

Is now the time to buy Qualcomm? Access our full analysis of the earnings results here, it's free.

Qualcomm (QCOM) Q4 FY2022 Highlights:

  • Revenue: $11.3 billion vs analyst estimates of $11.3 billion (small beat)
  • EPS (non-GAAP): $3.13 vs analyst expectations of $3.13 (small miss)
  • Revenue guidance for Q1 2023 is $9.6 billion at the midpoint, below analyst estimates of $12 billion
  • Free cash flow of $812 million, down 65.3% from previous quarter
  • Inventory Days Outstanding: 119, up from 102 previous quarter
  • Gross Margin (GAAP): 57.2%, in line with same quarter last year

Having been at the forefront of developing the standards for cellular connectivity for over four decades, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), is a leading innovator and a fabless manufacturer of wireless technology chips used in smartphones, autos and internet of things appliances.

The biggest demand drivers for processors (CPUs) and graphics chips at the moment are secular trends related to 5G and Internet of Things, autonomous driving, and high performance computing in the data center space, specifically around AI and machine learning. Like all semiconductor companies, digital chip makers exhibit a degree of cyclicality, driven by supply and demand imbalances and exposure to PC and Smartphone product cycles.

Sales Growth

Qualcomm's revenue growth over the last three years has been strong, averaging 29.4% annually. And as you can see below, last year has been especially strong, with quarterly revenue growing from $9.33 billion to $11.3 billion. Semiconductors are a cyclical industry and long-term investors should be prepared for periods of high growth, followed by periods of revenue contractions (which can sometimes offer opportune times to buy).

Qualcomm Total Revenue

This was a decent quarter for Qualcomm as revenues grew 22%, topping analyst estimates by 0.28%. This marks 9 straight quarters of revenue growth, which means the current upcycle has had a good run, as a typical upcycle tends to be 8-10 quarters.

Qualcomm's revenue growth is expected to go negative next quarter, with the company guiding to decline of 10.3% YoY next quarter, but analyst consensus sees growth of 5.14% over the next twelve months.

In volatile times like these we look for robust businesses with strong pricing power. Unknown to most investors, this company is one of the highest-quality software companies in the world, and their software products have been the default standard in critical industries for decades. The result is an impressive business that is up an incredible 18,152% since the IPO. You can find it on our platform for free.

Product Demand & Outstanding Inventory

Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO) are an important metric for chipmakers, as it reflects the capital intensity of the business and the cyclical nature of semiconductor supply and demand. In a tight supply environment, inventories tend to be stable, allowing chipmakers to exert pricing power. Steadily increasing DIO can be a warning sign that demand is weak, and if inventories continue to rise the company may have to downsize production.

Qualcomm Inventory Days Outstanding

This quarter, Qualcomm’s inventory days came in at 119, 42 days above the five year average, suggesting that that inventory has grown to higher levels than what we used to see in the past.

Key Takeaways from Qualcomm's Q4 Results

Sporting a market capitalization of $131 billion, more than $6.38 billion in cash and with positive free cash flow over the last twelve months, we're confident that Qualcomm has the resources it needs to pursue a high growth business strategy.

We struggled to find many strong positives in these results. On the other hand, it was unfortunate to see that the revenue guidance for the next quarter missed analysts' expectations and inventory levels increased. Overall, this quarter's results could have been better. The company is down 5.34% on the results and currently trades at $106.55 per share.

Qualcomm may have had a tough quarter, but does that actually create an opportunity to invest right now? It is important that you take into account its valuation and business qualities, as well as what happened in the latest quarter. We look at that in our actionable report which you can read here, it's free.

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The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.