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Qualcomm Cuts 2002 Forecast

Earnings: The wireless technology firm's revenue rises 6.6%. Phone maker Nokia to stick with targets.

January 25, 2002|From Times Wire Services

Two cell phone titans reported mixed quarterly results Thursday and offered differing forecasts for the year.

San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc., which licenses patents for mobile phones, cut its 2002 revenue and profit forecast on lower-than-expected phone demand. Nokia, the world's largest cell phone maker, reported smaller profit but left its forecasts for the year intact.

Qualcomm said it earned $139.2 million, or 17 cents a share, in its fiscal first quarter, compared with a loss of $419.2 million, or 56 cents, a year earlier. Revenue in the period ended Dec. 30 climbed 6.6% to $698.6 million from $655.2 million.

Qualcomm reduced its fiscal 2002 revenue growth forecast to 5% to 15%, from a November target of 15% to 25%, on slower phone sales growth. Fiscal second-quarter sales will drop 3% to 6% from the first quarter, Qualcomm said. Some analysts had expected sales to rise.

The company, whose CDMA technology is used in 103 million phones, expects to benefit this year from increased sales of phone chips that provide faster wireless Internet access.

Nokia posted a 62% decline in its fourth-quarter profit but left key forecasts for this year unchanged, including its estimate that global sales of mobile phones should be in the range of 420 million to 440 million. The company, based in Espoo, Finland, said it earned $398.7 million in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with $1.05 billion in the same period the previous year. Revenue for the quarter fell to $7.7 billion, from $8.1 billion the previous year.

Net profit for the year fell 44%, to $1.9 billion. Nokia said that global phone sales in 2001 were about 380 million and that it increased its market share for the full year to 37%.

In other technology earnings Thursday:

* Autobytel Inc., the Irvine online automotive sales service, reported its first quarterly operating profit, of $200,000 or 1 cent a share, in the three months ended Dec. 31. A year earlier, the company lost $1.9 million, or 7 cents a share, before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The net loss for the fourth quarter fell to $900,000, or 3 cents a share, from a deficit of $3.3 million, or 16 cents a share, a year earlier.

* EMC Corp., a Hopkinton, Mass., data storage company, reported a loss for the second straight quarter--though not as severe as analysts predicted--and a $507-million loss for the year. The company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $70 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with net income of $563 million, or 25 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call predicted a loss of 7 cents a share. EMC said fourth-quarter losses were mitigated by cost cutting, including job reductions, improved operating efficiencies and inventory reductions. Revenue for the fourth quarter were $1.5 billion, compared with $2.6 billion a year ago.

* Peregrine Systems Inc., a San Diego maker of software for keeping track of business property such as computers and vehicles, said its fiscal third-quarter loss widened as expenses rose almost four times faster than sales. The loss in the quarter ended Dec. 31 increased to $88.3 million, or 45 cents a share, from $83.8 million, or 55 cents, a year earlier, the company said. Sales increased 12% to $175.2 million from $156.6 million, while costs jumped 58% to $195 million.

* Western Digital Corp., a Lake Forest maker of disk drives used in personal computers and video game consoles, said second-quarter profit rose on cost cuts and stable sales. Net income in the quarter ended Dec. 28 was $12.7 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with $3.58 million, or 2 cents, a year earlier. Sales rose 2.3% to $574.7 million from $561.6 million.

* XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., which began the first U.S. broadcasts of music and news by satellite Sept. 25, had a bigger fourth-quarter loss as costs rose more than sixfold. The loss increased to $143.9 million, or $2.26 a share, from $14 million, or 40 cents, in the year-earlier quarter. The company had $532,000 in sales. XM first reported sales in the third quarter. Costs rose as XM spent more than some analysts expected to advertise its $9.99-a-month service with 100 channels, fewer commercials and better sound quality than conventional radio.

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