The real upside to the shares of Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) may be coming only in the second half as it is best positioned to take advantage of strong secular growth trends in 3G, smartphones and tablets..
We think stronger than expected smartphone growth in June combined with the ramp of new chipset customers could lead to upside in QCOM's CY2H, analyst Stephen Patel of Gleacher & Co. wrote in a note to clients.
Qualcomm is best positioned to take advantage of strong secular growth trends in 3G, smartphones and tablets. While royalties through Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) products comprise 10 percent plus of the mix and timing of an iPhone refresh adds uncertainty, the analyst thinks strength among Android vendors as well as chipset share gains can drive upside in second half of 2011.
While we estimate iPhone represents 11-13 percent of QCOM's royalty base, we think the impact from a potentially delayed refresh can be offset by strength at other vendors, Patel said.
The analyst's royalty model assumes 18.6 million, 16.5 million and 21.5 million iPhone units at a about $250 average selling price (ASP) through Foxconn from first quarter to third quarter of the calendar year, respectively.
Patel said his September/December royalty estimates could remain intact with up to a 2 million to 3 million unit cut to its iPhone assumption in June/September with upside potential should his assumptions hold and/or Android vendors outperform.
We expect solid Samsung, HTC and LG units to offset softness at NOK and RIMM. We also think China and India 3G adoption is gaining momentum, providing a multi-year tailwind as about 1.6 billion subscribers, currently about 5 percent penetrated on 3G, convert, the analyst noted.
In addition to the new Blackberry Bold 9930/9900, Patel have additional confidence that Qualcomm will be in 4 more Blackberry models for the fall/holiday timeframe, which he thinks could add 4 million to 6 million high-ASP Snapdragon chips per quarter once ramped.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon mobile processors currently power 125 announced smartphones and tablets, with another 250 designs in development, more than 40 of which are tablets.
Meanwhile, the analyst thinks the first Nokia phone based on Windows Phone operating system having Qualcomm chips could also launch in the fall and add about 5 million high-ASP chips for Qualcomm in the second half. Microsoft Windows Phone operating system (OS) is available only on Qualcomm's chips.
We believe this adds $0.03-$0.05 upside potential in the December quarter and possibly about $0.02 in September, depending on launch timing. A potential iPhone chip win could be worth up to $0.10 EPS in CY12, Patel added.
Shares of Qualcomm closed Friday's regular trading session at $57.35 on Nasdaq. Patel has a buy rating and $70 price target on Qualcomm stock.