Why Qualcomm Is Bigger Than Apple's Production Cutbacks


Earlier this week, reports surfaced about Apple cutting back production orders for LCD screens and other parts used in its iPhone 5. Qualcomm's name came up as one of the companies that will be hurt by Apple's production cutback, but there's much more to Qualcomm that its Apple components -- and investors need not worry.

The 800-pound pile of cash in the room
First of all, Qualcomm is in amazing financial shape. The company's revenue grew 32% in 2012 and profit grew 25%. The company also holds a majority of the baseband revenue from smartphones and is a leader in smartphone processors. To top it all off, Qualcomm has more than $26 billion in cash and investments. Considering how much the company put into research and development in 2012 (about $3.9 billion), that's a pretty good stockpile. About $17 billion of the cash is overseas, which means it can't use that money for buybacks or dividends, but nonetheless Qualcomm is more than sound, financially speaking.

Qualcomm isn't Apple-exclusive
Qualcomm makes the mobile-station modem -- or MSM -- chip for Apple's iPhone 5, so news of Apple slowing down production for the phone can be a little scary for Qualcomm investors. But Apple isn't Qualcomm's only customer. The same chips are used in Samsung, HTC, and Nokia phones.

Aside from the MSM chips, Qualcomm's processors are in a number of iPhone competitors, like the Nokia Lumia and the CDMA version of the Samsung Galaxy S III. So Qualcomm's revenue isn't tied only to its sales of components to Apple. The company also just launched its most powerful version of Snapdragon processors, which will be in smartphones and tablets later this year. So between current mobile processors and future mobile processors, Qualcomm has much more going on in the mobile industry than just iPhone components.

One more thing...
Aside from Qualcomm's cash, processors, and MSM chips, the company has one more thing that investors need to consider -- its patents. With thousands of CDMA patents, Qualcomm earns 3%-5% off of every CDMA-enabled mobile device sold. Last year, its licensing revenue grew by 17% in 2012.

Qualcomm investors should take the Apple production cutbacks with a grain of salt. Yes, it may have a small impact on some of components Qualcomm sells to Apple. But Qualcomm is in good financial shape and the company has many more financial revenue streams than just iPhone components.

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The article Why Qualcomm Is Bigger Than Apple's Production Cutbacks originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Qualcomm. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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