Helped by growing demand for smartphones, shares of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) surged after hours amid the company’s announcement late Wednesday that it achieved a stronger-than-expected 39% gain in first-quarter profit, leading the company to lift its 2011 revenue forecast.

The San Diego-based company posted net income of $1.17 billion, or 71 cents a share, compared with $841 million in the same quarter last year. Excluding one-time items, the company earned 82 cents a share, beating the Street’s view of 72 cents.

Revenue for the chipmaker was $3.35 billion, up 25% from the year-earlier period, ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of $3.2 billion.

Qualcomm CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs said the company was pleased to report record revenues and earnings per share, attributing the results to increased demand for smartphones and other data-centric devices.

“We believe we are uniquely positioned to benefit from these industry trends and are substantially raising our revenue and earnings guidance for the fiscal year,” he said.

The company sees fiscal 2011 revenue in the range of $13.6 billion and $14.2 billion. Analysts are expecting $12.8 billion.