Qualcom Unveils Fiscal 3Q Earnings, Announces Plan to Restructure

Qualcomm Corp. said Wednesday that it would consider changes to its corporate structure and cut $1.4 billion in spending, moving to appease investors amid problems that triggered a 47% drop in its fiscal third-quarter profit.

The company said the review would include possibilities such as separating its businesses. The San Diego-based company, which promised in April to review its cost structure, said it also would cut 15% of its full-time headcount and "significantly" reduce its temporary workforce. It also plans to cut $300 million in annual share-based compensation grants.

Qualcomm estimated that it would book $350 million to $450 million in restructuring charges related to the moves. The Wall Street Journal reported reported earlier this week that Qualcomm was considering such a review.

Qualcomm has studied a breakup before and rejected the idea, but the possibility re-emerged after activist investor Jana Partners LLC in April bought a major stake in the company.

Qualcomm said it also has reached an agreement with Jana to add Mark McLaughlin, chief executive of Palo Alto Network, and Tony Vinciquerra, a senior adviser to TPG, to its board. Qualcomm said it would add a third director approved by Jana to its board.

Shares of Qualcomm, down 21% over the past year, slipped 0.5% to $63.92 in after-hours trading.

Qualcomm disclosed the moves Wednesday along with results for the quarter ended June 28, which brought more signs of how its business has suffered amid shifting fortunes of major smartphones makers and growing competition. Revenue declined 14% over the prior year.

The company also issued a forecast for the current quarter that pointed to further weak conditions and again lowered its forecast for the year.

Qualcomm is the biggest supplier of chips for mobile phones. Its products handle cellular communications and computing in smartphones, sometimes on separate chips or combined on a single piece of silicon.

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The company has experienced a turbulent year, paying $975 million to settle an antitrust suit in China, while authorities in the U.S., Europe and South Korea launched new investigations. Meanwhile, rivals such as MediaTek Inc. have begun to sell new modem chips that have cut into Qualcomm's dominant share in technology for handling fourth-generation LTE networks.

Another factor lately concerns longtime customer Samsung Electronics Co. The South Korean company has been losing market share in smartphones to Apple Inc., which tends to use Qualcomm modem chips but not the more expensive processors that Samsung has frequently used.

This spring, Samsung raised another issue by opting to use its own chips in the flagship Galaxy S6 announced this spring.

For the quarter ended in June, Qualcomm reported net income of $1.18 billion, or 73 cents a share, down from a profit of $2.24 billion, or $1.31 a share a year earlier. Revenue declined to $5.83 billion from $6.81 billion a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis that excludes share-based compensation and results from an investment unit, Qualcomm said per-share profit was 99 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had projected earnings of 95 cents a share on revenue of $5.85 billion.

For the current quarter, Qualcomm projected that adjusted earnings will fall by up to 40% to 75 cents to 95 cents share, while forecasting revenue of $4.7 billion to $5.7 billion, which would be a decline of up to 30% over the prior-year period.

The company also cut its forecast for the year ending in September. Qualcomm now expects per-share earnings of $4.50 a share to $4.70 a share, down from its lowered forecast of $4.60 to $5 a share in April. It is now calling for revenue of $24.5 billion to $25.5 billion, down from its April forecast of $25 billion to $27 billion in revenue.

(By Don Clark and Chelsey Dulaney)