Qualcomm, Nextel Also Report Strong Earnings
By Carlo Longino, Thu Apr 22 19:15:00 GMT 2004

More mobile earnings came in, as US carrier Nextel's first-quarter profit doubled, while CDMA kingpin Qualcomm's increased more than fourfold.

Qualcomm earned $488 million in the quarter, up from $103 million a year earlier. The company matched a record by shipping 32 million chips in the quarter, and revenue was up to $1.2 billion from $1 billion.

The company is seeing strong takeup of its 3G products, and is undoubtedly being helped by the standard's growth around the world as well as the takeup of CDMA2000. Given the strong outlook, the company also raised its guidance for the rest of the year, though it did warn demand was outpacing its production capabilities.

Nextel also had a strong quarter, income rising to $591 million from $208 million a year ago on a healthy revenue jump to $3.1 billion. The carrier's ARPU also grew by $2 to $69, although net subscriber adds were at the low end of analyst expectations, but management raised their subcriber addition estimates for the rest of the year.

Nextel's focus on business customers and its success with push-to-talk has made it something of a Wall Street favorite, but one writer's wondering if those days are coming to an end, citing the company's subscriber figures as well as that they haven't yet offered any cameraphones -- though this would seem to run counter to their business focus. Nextel's churn also rose to 1.7 percent from 1.5 percent in the first quarter, and though it's still the lowest in the industry, one analyst saying it's a "concern". They'd do better to focus on Nextel's spectrum situation with the FCC, which is probably the biggest issue facing the company.