Qualcomm stock passes $69 per share

With the close of an initial round of stock repurchases at midnight Aug. 27, Qualcomm is set to spend $5.1 billion to buyback more than 76 million shares of common stock for “at or below” $67.50 per share, according to the company. On Aug. 28, the San Diego-based chipmaker’s shares were trading at more than $69 per share, the highest price the chipmaker has seen all year.

In July Qualcomm dropped its $44 billion bid to purchase Dutch semiconductor firm NXP and, as promised, started the process of buying back some $30 billion of its stock. The timeline for the larger repurchase program anticipates completion by the end of fiscal year 2019. The company characterized the initiative as providing shareholders “with an opportunity to obtain liquidity with respect to all or a portion of their stock without the potential disruption to Qualcomm’s stock price.”

When it walked away from the NXP deal, which was announced in Oct. 2016, the company had gained widespread regulatory approval but had not gotten the OK from Chinese authority MofCom. Home to a number of a major device manufacturers and a booming consumer market, China is a key market for Qualcomm, which paid a $2 billion termination fee related to the dashed acquisition.

Although it had a rocky period fighting off a hostile takeover attempt from Broadcom ultimately blocked by President Trump, Qualcomm has continued to accelerate commercialization of 5G. In support of Verizon’s plans to launch mobile 5G in 2019, Qualcomm, Motorola and the carrier announced the moto z3 smartphone, which is upgradable to support 5G with a clip-on “mod” containing Qualcomm’s modem and millimeter wave antenna module technology.

Similarly, Qualcomm recently announced it was sampling to OEMs a 5G system on a chip for premium smartphones. “We are very pleased to be working with OEMs, operators, infrastructure vendors, and standards bodies across the world, and are on track to help launch the first 5G mobile hotspots by the end of 2018, and smartphones using our next-generation mobile platform in the first half of 2019,” Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated, said. “Qualcomm Technologies’ continued leadership in research and engineering allows for a future of increased innovation across multiple sectors as 5G connectivity becomes ubiquitous.”

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