|14:51 EDT||ADI||Earnings Watch: Qualcomm reports after speculations of potential breakup|
Qualcomm (QCOM) is expected to report third quarter earnings after the close on July 22, with a conference call scheduled for 4:45 pm ET. Qualcomm is a maker of semiconductors and telecommunications equipment. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 95c on revenue of $5.85B. EPS consensus ranges 90c-$1.05 on a revenue range of $5.59B-$6.08B, according to First Call. LAST QUARTER: On April 22, Qualcomm reported Q2 EPS of $1.40 against expectations for $1.33, and revenue of $6.89B versus estimates of $6.83B. The company also cut its FY15 EPS guidance to $4.60-$5.00 from $4.85-$5.05 and lowered projected revenue to $25B-$27B from $26.3B-$28B, saying it expects pressure in its semiconductor business due to customer shifts in the premium segment and a decline in Qualcomm's share at an unnamed large customer. NEWS: On May 8, Reuters reported that EU antitrust regulators asked Qualcomm's competitors how the company's licensing and business practices affect them, and on July 16, the European Commission confirmed two formal antitrust investigations of the company. On May 25, Qualcomm and Daimler (DDAIF) announced a strategic collaboration to develop connected car technology. Coming on the heels of Avago's (AVGO) May 28 agreement to acquire Broadcom (BRCM), Bloomberg quoted a source later that day as saying Qualcomm, Intel (INTC), Altera (ALTR), Analog Devices (ADI), Maxim Integrated (MXIM), Texas Instruments (TXN), and Microchip Technology (MCHP) are all considering their own M&A opportunities. Note that on June 1, Intel announced an agreement to acquire Altera. On June 23, Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMI), Qualcomm, Huawei, and Imec announced the formation of a joint venture to focus on a type of 14 nanometer technology. More recently, the Wall Street Journal reported on July 20 that Qualcomm is "expected" to begin a comprehensive strategic review which may include the possibility of a breakup following pressure from "activist" shareholder Jana Partners, according to sources, adding that the move could be announced concurrent with Wednesday's earnings release. STREET RESEARCH: Following last quarter's earnings report, Exane BNP Paribas downgraded Qualcomm to Neutral from Outperform, while both Canaccord and Brean Capital lowered price targets for the stock after "disappointing" guidance. Meanwhile, Citi said it expects the company's chip business to recover in 2016 despite this "very bad year." On May 28, CLSA said it sees continued pressure on Qualcomm chipsets, potentially spurring the company to consider making an acquisition, and on June 2, Craig-Hallum noted that Skyworks (SWKS) would be a great fit for Qualcomm. On June 24, Summit Research called Applied Micro Circuits (AMCC) an "affordable" target for Qualcomm, with AMD (AMD) and Cavium (CAVM) also looking like potential takeover candidates. On June 29, Drexel Hamilton downgraded Qualcomm to Sell from Hold, citing expected price cuts. Lastly, following media reports on July 20 that Qualcomm could be weighing a breakup, Bernstein said that such a "dis-synergistic" split would likely destroy value rather than create it. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Qualcomm are down more than 1% to $64.37 in afternoon trading ahead of Wednesday's earnings report.