Shares of Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), surged more than 8 percent Thursday after the top designer of smartphone chips forecast an especially robust quarter ahead.


Shares of the San Diego-based Qualcomm closed at $60.62, up $2.50 or about 4.3 percent, after reaching $62.80 earlier, bringing its market capitalization to $106 billion, about $1 billion more than Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), the world's No. 1 chipmaker.


With its chips in the vast majority of the world's smartphones, including both Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iOS and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android models, Qualcomm's predictions of an especially strong current quarter are a bellwether.


CEO Paul Jacobs predicted the company would report first-quarter revenue around $5.6 billion to $6.1 billion, well ahead of prior estimates of $5.33 billion, with per-share operating earnings around 90 to 98 cents, compared with estimates of only 86 cents.


The surge in Qualcomm didn't help Apple, whose iPhones account for about 20 percent of the market, according to IDC estimates. Apple shares continued their downward track, falling 3.6 percent to $537.75 or 24 percent their all-time record high of $705.07 set on Sept. 21.