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Qualcomm reports stronger results, forecast

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Qualcomm Inc., a chip-maker for mobile phones, reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results driven by rising smartphone demand.

In Qualcomm's fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 25, the company's net income was $1.06 billion, or 62 cents per share, up 22 percent from $865 million, or 53 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding special items, the company said Wednesday that it earned 80 cents per share, which was higher than the 78 cents per share that analysts polled by FactSet expected.

Revenue rose 39 percent to $4.12 billion, higher than the $3.99 billion expected.

For fiscal 2011, Qualcomm earned $4.26 billion, or $2.52 per share, on $15 billion in revenue.

Qualcomm makes its own chips and licenses its wireless technologies to other companies for use in their chips. The San Diego-based company is benefiting from rising smartphone use, which means phone makers need more powerful and expensive chips to handle voice and data traffic on the devices.

The company said it particularly benefited from demand in emerging markets and in third-generation, or 3G, phones _ the common type available today. Many carriers are upgrading their networks to fourth generation, and phones for those networks are starting to appear.

Another maker of cellphone chips, Texas Instruments Inc., last week reported falling net income in its latest quarter on weak overall demand, yet one bright spot was sales of its OMAP "application processors," which function like a PC's central processing unit.

Texas Instruments' weakness lies primarily in areas outside of cellphones, as it makes chips for a variety of industrial and other functions. Another cellphone chipmaker, Broadcom Corp., also reported lower earnings but said its wireless division was strong. Like TI, areas outside of cellphones were the company's biggest weaknesses, such as chips for broadband modems.

For fiscal 2012, Qualcomm expects earnings of $3.42 per share to $3.62 per share, excluding items, on revenue of $18 billion to $19 billion. Analysts expected earnings of $3.46 per share and revenue of $17.3 billion.

Shares rose $4.86, or 9.3 percent, to $57.04 in extended trading Wednesday after the results were reported. In regular trading earlier, the stock increased $2.04, or 4.1 percent, to close at $52.18.

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