San Diego, California, United States
Region: US 🇺🇸
Year Founded: 1985
IPO Date: 12-13-1991
Market Cap: $159.37 billion
Number of Employees: Approx. 41,000
Revenue: $23.83 billion (2020)
Net Income: $5.16 billion (2020)
QUALCOMM Incorporated went public on December 13, 1991.
The company, headquartered in San Diego, California, began trading on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “QCOM”.
The IPO price was set at $16 per share. QUALCOMM’s IPO was a significant event at the time as the company was a pioneer in digital wireless communications equipment.
Since then, the company’s stock has experienced significant growth, driven by the company’s strong performance and growth in the tech industry.
Its early and sustained investment in CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) technology, as well as its focus on wireless communication and semiconductors, have enabled it to continually adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing industry.
Qualcomm IPO Prospectus
A prospectus is a formal document required by and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that provides details about an investment offering to the public.
You can find Qualcomm’s Prospectus here.
Company Overview & History
QUALCOMM was founded in 1985 by seven industry veterans, led by Dr. Irwin Jacobs, to develop “Quality Communications”.
The company began as a contract research and development center, largely for government and defense projects.
But the major breakthrough came with the invention of CDMA, a technology that was ultimately chosen for the 3G mobile standard.
In the early 1990s, QUALCOMM began manufacturing phones and network equipment, and by the end of the decade, CDMA was being adopted by operators worldwide.
The company’s CDMA technology became the industry standard for 3G mobile communications, placing QUALCOMM at the forefront of the wireless revolution.
Moving into the 21st century, QUALCOMM has continued to evolve, developing successive generations of wireless technology and leading the world into the era of 5G.
The company has also branched out into other areas of technology, including semiconductors with its Snapdragon platform that is at the heart of many high-end smartphones and tablets.
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QUALCOMM operates through three main business segments: QCT (Qualcomm CDMA Technologies), QTL (Qualcomm Technology Licensing), and QSI (Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives).
The QCT segment develops and supplies integrated circuits and system software based on CDMA, OFDMA, and other technologies for use in wireless voice and data communications, networking, application processing, multimedia, and global positioning systems.
The revenues from this segment are generated from the sale of physical products.
The QTL segment grants licenses to use portions of QUALCOMM’s intellectual property portfolio, which includes patent rights essential to and/or useful in the manufacture and sale of certain wireless products.
Revenues from this segment are largely derived from licensing fees and royalties.
The QSI segment invests in early-stage companies in areas that align with QUALCOMM’s future growth plans.
The profits from this segment are primarily generated from the sale of these investments.
Market Cap Over the Years
Like any technology company, QUALCOMM faces numerous risks.
These include technological shifts and competition in the wireless communications industry, regulatory and legal challenges related to its licensing business, and international trade uncertainties.
The company’s performance is also heavily dependent on the state of the global smartphone market, which can be volatile and is subject to changing consumer preferences.
Moreover, QUALCOMM is subject to risks related to its international operations, including foreign currency fluctuations, differing regulatory environments, and geopolitical issues.
There are also supply chain risks, particularly given the recent global chip shortage.
QUALCOMM’s market opportunity lies in its ability to innovate and lead in the wireless communications sector, particularly with the advent of 5G and IoT.
The global transition to 5G presents a significant growth opportunity for the company, with the proliferation of 5G-enabled smartphones, IoT devices, and other wireless technologies.
Furthermore, with the advent of technologies like autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and increased digital connectivity in various industries (known as Industry 4.0), the demand for advanced chips and wireless communication technologies is expected to surge, positioning QUALCOMM well for future growth.
- Intel Corporation
- MediaTek Inc.
- Broadcom Inc.
- NVIDIA Corporation
- Samsung Electronics (Semiconductor Division)
- Huawei Technologies (HiSilicon Division)
- Texas Instruments Inc.
- Apple Inc. (in-house chip manufacturing)
Key/Fun Company Facts
- QUALCOMM was initially a contract research and development center, with much of its work tied to government and defense projects.
- The company’s name, QUALCOMM, stands for “Quality Communications.”
- It was QUALCOMM that invented the CDMA technology that became the industry standard for 3G mobile communications.
- QUALCOMM’s Snapdragon chips power many of the world’s high-end smartphones and tablets.
- The company has a stadium named after it in San Diego, California, called the Qualcomm Stadium, which was home to the San Diego Chargers until 2017.