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From: BoonDoggler2/17/2012 11:59:21 AM
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Clearwire: TD-LTE network to go live in June 2013

Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) intends to have its first wave of TD-LTE 5,000 cell sites up and running by June 2013, the company said. Clearwire CEO Erik Prusch made the comments during the company's fourth-quarter earnings conference call.

Prusch said Clearwire has been working with Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), its majority owner and largest wholesale customer, to identify sites for Clearwire's planned TD-LTE network, which will overlay the company's existing WiMAX network. He said Clearwire expects to begin the buildout near the end of the first quarter. Clearwire is looking to deploy its LTE Advanced-ready TD-LTE network mainly in urban areas, where traffic is heaviest.

The Clearwire chief said that "not too terribly long" after the first 5,000 sites are online, Clearwire will expand that coverage to 8,000 sites. Interestingly, he added that with the TD-LTE network Clearwire will not be as focused on POPs covered as it as with its WiMAX network, and will instead focus on how much data traffic it can transmit across its network--presumably to get as much as wholesale revenue as possible.

Under the terms of financial and network agreements Sprint and Clearwire reached in December, Sprint will pay Clearwire up to $350 million in a series of prepayments over a period of up to two years for LTE capacity if Clearwire achieves certain buildout targets and network specifications by June 2013. Sprint and Clearwire said the agreements also establish long-term, usage-based pricing for LTE services.

During the call, Clearwire CFO Hope Cochran said that of the total $900 million Clearwire will receive for Sprint's unlimited retail WiMAX usage in 2012 and 2013, $600 million will be paid in 2012 with the remainder in 2013. Additionally, Clearwire will get $87 million this year under the terms of its previous Sprint agreement, bringing total 2012 cash payments to $687 million, well above the the $434 million cash payments the company received from Sprint in 2011. She said the funds "will support our liquidity position until 2013, when we will be in a position to benefit from the additional LTE revenue stream as our LTE sites go live and devices become available."

Prusch also said that as the company works on its LTE buildout it will continue to work with China Mobile and other TD-LTE carriers to accelerate the development of TD-LTE devices. Prusch noted that "Sprint has stated that they expect to have 2.5 GHz-compatible multiband, multimode LTE devices in market in 2013, ready to take advantage of our network as it goes live throughout the year."

Additionally, Prusch touched obliquely on the FCC's recent decision to not allow wholesale LTE provider LightSquared to launch commercial service--a move that removes a competitor to Clearwire and could funnel additional business toward Clearwire. He said Clearwire is actively looking for new wholesale customers and that adding more is a key priority for 2012. "We continue to field a lot of inbound inquiries in terms of wholesale deals," he said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. "But we're pleased with the pipeline of opportunities that we've got in front of us and that's about as far that I'd like to go with that."

He noted that Clearwire recently added MVNE Simplexity and "freemium" mobile broadband provider FreedomPop, which had been a LightSquared customer, as wholesale customers. Prusch said Clearwire will continue to adopt usage-based pricing agreements for its wholesale customers.

Subscribers: During the quarter Clearwire added 873,000 total net new subscribers, reflecting 904,000 net new wholesale subscribers and a net loss of 31,000 retail subscribers. (Clearwire's wholesale subscribers consist primarily of Sprint 3G/4G smartphone customers). The company ended the fourth quarter with around 10.4 million total subscribers, up 140 percent from 4.3 million subscribers at the end of 2010. The carrier's subscriber base consists of 1.3 million retail subscribers and 9.1 million wholesale subscribers.

ARPU: Clearwire's retail average revenue per user was $46.69, up from $45.52 in fourth quarter of 2010. The company's wholesale ARPU was $6.34 in fourth quarter 2011, up from $3.52 in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Churn: Clearwire's retail churn was up slightly to 3.9 percent, up from 3.8 percent in the year-ago quarter. The company's wholesale churn was 2.9 percent in the quarter, higher than 1.4 percent in the year-ago period. During the company's conference call, Cochran said that the increase in wholesale churn was primarily associated with Sprint's introduction of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone in the quarter. However, Cochran said that because of Sprint's long-term commitment through 2015 to Clearwire's WiMAX network, Clearwire doesn't expect wholesale revenue from Sprint to be impacted substantially.

Financials: Clearwire's total fourth-quarter revenue clocked in at $361.9 million, up from $175.2 million in the year-ago period. Wholesale revenue in fourth quarter was a record $164.1 million, while retail revenue and other revenue was $197.8 million. Clearwire's net loss for the fourth quarter was $236.8 million, wider than the net loss of $128 million in the year-ago period. Clearwire reported adjusted EBITDA of $22.5 million, compared with an adjusted EBITDA loss of $46.4 million in the third quarter. It was the company's first positive adjusted EBITDA result and Clearwire achieved it a quarter earlier than expected.

Capital expenditures: Cochran affirmed that the cost of the LTE overlay will be $600 million. She said that Clearwire's capital expenditures in 2012 are expected to total around $450 million to $550 million, with most of the spend occurring in the second half of the year. She also said Clearwire is close to securing $200 million worth of vendor financing and may receive more in 2012.

fiercewireless.com

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To: Jim Mullens who wrote (109648)2/17/2012 1:32:59 PM
From: Art Bechhoefer
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Jim, thanks for the info on all the behind-the-scenes machinations concerning Qualcomm's investment in 4G spectrum in India. Do you have any thoughts on how this will play out? It does seem, given the players involved, that QCOM might have to write off its entire investment.

Does Qualcomm have any leverage here? Does the QCOM investment in a research facility in India provide any leverage here?

Art

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From: Bill Wolf2/17/2012 2:17:17 PM
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Microsoft Office On The iPad? Don't Hold Your Breath

Wouldn’t it be cool if you had a version of Microsoft Office on the Apple iPad? It would be awesome. Create Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on your tablet. I’d buy it.

Yes, it sure would be cool. Of course, it would also be cool if Bill Gates chose to adopt me.

And it would be awesome if I were the King of France. I could go around saying, “le roi, c’est moi.”

Anyway, the chances for Office on the iPad look more or less nil.

Nomura Research analyst Rick Sherlund addressed this point in a research note this morning. As he notes, while the Office team at Microsoft might be inclined to offer software for the iPad, the company is getting ready to launch Windows 8, which in particular will be targeted at the tablet market. One obvious potential differentiator for Windows tablets? The ability to run Office.

“Don’t hold your breath for Office on the iPad,” Sherlund writes. “If there were a tug of war of conflicting interest with the Office team on one end of the rope and Steve Sinofsky and Steve Ballmer on the other (chanting Windows, Windows, Windows), we would expect there would be no Office on iPad anytime soon.”

Darn.


forbes.com

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From: Bill Wolf2/17/2012 2:41:21 PM
1 Recommendation   of 122091
 
AMD Graphics Head Goes to Qualcomm, Says Inquirer
By Tiernan Ray

The Inquirer‘s Lawrence Latif today reports that the head of graphics chip technology at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Eric Demers, has gone over to Qualcomm (QCOM), according to an anonymous “industry source.”

AMD had announced Demers’s departure to seek other opportunities earlier this week, it had not said where he was going. Latif writes that AMD aims to compete with Qualcomm in tablet chips. And he writes that he’s been told AMD is not too troubled about how it will find a successor to Demers.

Shares of AMD are down 12 cents, or 1.6% at $7.47. Shares of Qualcomm are up 3 cents at $62.30.

Fin.

Copyright 2011 Dow Jones & Company,

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To: Art Bechhoefer who wrote (109662)2/17/2012 2:57:38 PM
From: Rich Bloem
1 Recommendation   of 122091
 
Got to believe this issue will go political before Q ever writes off this investment. The US State Department and the Commerce/fair trade people will bring some pressure to bear at some point. Whether India decides to back down on their money grab or not remains to be seen.

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To: Rich Bloem who wrote (109665)2/17/2012 3:38:23 PM
From: slacker711
3 Recommendations   of 122091
 
Got to believe this issue will go political before Q ever writes off this investment. The US State Department and the Commerce/fair trade people will bring some pressure to bear at some point. Whether India decides to back down on their money grab or not remains to be seen.



JMO, but I think that Q gets their spectrum....eventually.

Everything I have read indicates that India's bureaucracy is frozen right now. They are deathly afraid of being accused of favoritism or corruption so absolutely nothing gets approved. That wont last forever, and I doubt that the government really wants to rescind the auction. The 4G auction has been held up as the example of one that was done right.


Slacker

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From: leochardonne2/17/2012 4:04:57 PM
7 Recommendations   of 122091
 
Qualcomm approaches a 12 Years Peak
By Elizabeth Harrow

schaeffersresearch.com
Despite a mixed day for the major market indexes, there's no shortage of stocks at new highs this afternoon. The NYSE tallies 146 equities at fresh 52-week peaks, compared to only one annual low. Meanwhile, over on the Nasdaq, we've got 96 new highs easily outnumbering nine new lows. Among the stocks tagging bullish technical milestones in today's trading is Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM - 62.49), which -- like the broader Nasdaq Composite (COMP) -- is trekking into territory not explored since 2000.

Specifically, QCOM topped out today at $62.53, which marks its best price since April 2000. The shares have racked up a healthy gain of 13.8% so far in 2012, buoyed by support at their rising 10-day and 20-day moving averages. Plus, QCOM is on pace to collect a third straight Friday finish atop the $58-$60 region, which had previously served as stubborn resistance since mid-February 2011.

However, the stock's positive price action likely comes as no surprise to Wall Street, as QCOM's bullish bandwagon looks pretty packed at the moment. Zacks reports 27 "strong buys" and four "buys" from analysts, compared to just three "holds" and zero "sells." Elsewhere, short interest accounts for less than 1% of QCOM's float, which suggests that very few traders are betting against the shares.

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From: leochardonne2/17/2012 4:11:55 PM
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Huawei Sets $6 Billion In OEM Deals with Qualcomm, Broadcom, Avago

Chinese telecom giant Huawei said Friday, in an announcement timed with the visit of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping to Los Angeles, that it is awarding $6 billion in Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) contracts to three California companies. Huawei said that the contracts go to San Diego-based Qualcomm, Irvine-based Broadcom, and Avago, which is based in San Jose. Huawei said the three year, OEM contracts will directly or indirectly create "tens of thousands of job opportunities" in the U.S.


socaltech.com

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To: leochardonne who wrote (109668)2/17/2012 4:15:57 PM
From: leochardonne
1 Recommendation   of 122091
 
More on Huawei's $6 Billion In OEM Deals:
utsandiego.com
Huawei pledges $6 billion in orders to California firms Qualcomm, Broadcom and Avago to get supplier deals

Huawei, a Chinese communications network equipment and mobile phone maker, said Friday that it expects to award supplier contracts totaling $6 billion to California companies Qualcomm, Broadcom and Avago over the next three years.

The company made the announcement as part of the U.S. China Business Cooperation Forum taking place Friday in Los Angeles. Government officials from both countries are attending.

“This $6 billion contract will boost the job created and economic development in the U.S.,” said Charles Ding, president of Huawei North America, in an interview.

Huawei has fought an uphill battle to break into the U.S., particularly with network equipment, because of federal government concerns over whether the company poses a national security risk.

Members of Congress have express concerns about the company’s activities in the U.S., and its ties to the Chinese government. The U.S. Department of Commerce last year blocked Huawei from participating in a project to build a dedicated national wireless network for police, fire and other public safety agencies, citing security reasons. Huawei was founded in 1988 by a Chinese Army officer.

Huawei already buys products from Qualcomm, Broadcom and Avago, including Qualcomm’s wireless modems for mobile phones.

The Chinese company’s network equipment business in the U.S. was flat last year, but it’s mobile handset business tripled as it focused on selling more affordable smart phones, said Bill Plummer, vice president of external affairs.

The additional deals with Qualcomm and others “reflects something very unique about communications information technology industry,” Plummer added. “It is truly global, and it is utterly interdependent.”

Huawei opened 13 locations in the U.S. starting in 2001, including an office in San Diego. It employs about 1,700 nationwide.

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From: Bill Wolf2/17/2012 6:49:09 PM
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ARM PCs Could Have Price Advantage, Says Bernstein
By Tiernan Ray

The folks at Bernstein Research today offer up a longish — 33 pages — report on the prospects for personal computers and other devices running Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows 8 operating system, coming later this year, on chips that use technology from ARM Holdings (ARMH), as opposed to Intel (INTC) or Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) chips.

The team, consisting of Alberto Moel, Mark Moerdler, Pierre Ferragu, Stacy Rasgon, Siu Choon Koay, Jasmeet Chadha, Emily Chan, and Jonathan Cofsky, concludes that just the prospect of ARM-based Windows machines “meaningfully modifies the current equilibrium of the Wintel ecosystem.” The team estimates that notebook computers with Windows on ARM, or “WARM,” as it’s known, could be 10% cheaper, on average, than Wintel machines.

“Assuming ARM keeps a structural cost advantage of this order of magnitude, the technology could capture 60% of the sub-$500 consumer market,” the authors speculate.

There is “good development support for new MetroStyle apps,” the team writes, referring to the Metro user interface on Windows 8, that may not help tablets running Win 8, they think. And that could be important because on price alone, it looks like WARM tablets won’t be very competitive with Apple‘s (AAPL) iOS and Google‘s (GOOG) Android.

On the contrary, Windows 8 tablets will likely have a structural cost disadvantage compared to Android tablets, driven by higher hardware specifications required for Windows 8 certification and higher software costs.

The firm’s favored picks are Asustek Computer (2357TW), Microsoft (MSFT), and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), all rated Outperform. Lenovo (0992HK), and Intel (INTC) are rated Market Perform. And Acer (2353TW) and ARM are rated Underperform.

Update: In a somewhat related bit of news, CNet‘s Lance Whitney this afternoon reflected on the patent award given to Apple for a patent on technologies involved in the development of a thin laptop. Whitney wonders whether this and other patents pertaining to the MacBook Air could be used by Apple to thwart the design of “ultrabooks,” a class of laptops being heavily promoted among OEMs by Intel. Ultrabooks are expected to be the flagship mobile platform for Intel-based use of Windows 8.

Copyright 2011 Dow Jones & Company,

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