Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM - Analyst Report), one of the leading manufacturers of smartphone chipsets, has successfully completed the business restructuring process over the last three months to create a separate operational unit called the Qualcomm Technologies Inc.
The new business division is expected to be operational from the first quarter of 2013. This division will contain a research and development unit along with the Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT) segment, which comprises the semiconductor business. The holding company will continue to manage the Qualcomm Technology Licensing (QTL) business segment and will also look after the corporate affairs of the company.
Most technology companies remain exposed to the threat of intellectual property infringement and Qualcomm is no different. Earlier, the company faced many legal battles, which resulted in heavy litigation expenses. In, 2009, Qualcomm lost a long pending court-case against Broadcom Corp. (BRCM - Analyst Report) for violating its patent that resulted in an $891 million bailout for the company.
So to avoid such legal issues, Qualcomm decided to start a separate business unit primarily dealing with technology licenses as well as giving the opportunity to Qualcomm Technologies Inc. division to work closely with the Android application developer, in order to create advanced processors for future.
Qualcomm is already providing necessary tools and technical support to Android application developer in order to closely integrate the programs they develop into the Snapdragon S4 8960 processor. So segregation of its QTL segment will help the company avoid any legal issues with the open source developer. Moreover, the authority to grant license will lie solely with the parent company, hence providing full security to its patent licenses.
The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for Qualcomm Inc. is pegged at 71 cents for the fiscal fourth quarter 2012 with a growth rate estimate of 3.82%. For fiscal years 2012 and 2013, the Zacks Consensus Estimates stand at $3.19 and $3.73 with a growth rate of 6.02% and 16.79%, respectively.
We maintain our long-term Neutral recommendation for Qualcomm Inc. Currently, it has a Zacks #2 Rank, implying a short-term Buy rating on the stock.