Schmooze Operator

Image source: Shutterstock - Evgeny Karandaev

What's going on?

Qualcomm reported better-than-expected quarterly results late on Wednesday, as the US chipmaker rubs elbows with any supplier that can help take it to the top.

What does this mean?

There are two key parts to chip production: designing them and manufacturing them. And while Qualcomm takes care of the first step itself, it tends to leave the latter to bigger outfits like TSMC and Samsung. Trouble is, those companies have been struggling to keep up with demand in this shortage-riddled world. So Qualcomm’s pivoted: it’s been turning to multiple manufacturers to make sure it has a stronger supply pipeline than its competitors do. The tactic seems to be working: Qualcomm’s chip revenue climbed by 56% last quarter versus the same time a year ago, which in turn helped boost overall revenue by a better-than-expected 43%.

Why should I care?

For markets: Qualcomm seizes the day.
The good news is that the supply chain bottleneck is getting ever-so-slightly better: recent data showed that chip delivery times did get longer last month, but it was the smallest increase in nine months. That might be why investors sent Qualcomm’s stock 8% higher after the announcement – a welcome jump given that, prior to this update, Qualcomm had underperformed an index tracking chipmakers’ stocks by nearly 40% this year.

Zooming in: Variety is the spice of life.
Qualcomm is the biggest maker of smartphone chips in the world, and it said on Wednesday that it’s expecting sales in the segment to hit record levels this quarter (tweet this). But it also seems to be aware that demand won’t hang around forever, and it’s increasingly been branching out into chips for vehicles and the Internet Of Things. The move already seems to be paying off: the company made more than $10 billion from non-smartphone chips between October 2020 and September 2021 – almost a third of its overall chipmaking revenue in the same period.

Originally posted as part of the Finimize daily email.

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