November 16, 2011 / 7:54 PM / 7 years ago

Qualcomm keeps long-term growth target

(Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc on Wednesday affirmed its long-term growth target of at least 10 percent for annual revenue and earnings per share, citing strong demand for smartphones and other wireless devices.

The target for “double-digit” growth, first announced in 2010, is good through 2015, Chief Financial Officer Bill Keitel said at the chip maker’s annual meeting with Wall Street analysts.

The guidance implies stronger growth for the company’s chip business than its wireless technology licenses, he added.

Strong demand in emerging markets such as China would help the company offset more sluggish growth in longer-established regions with economic worries such as Europe and the United States, Keitel said.

San Diego-based Qualcomm, which competes with companies such as Texas Instruments Inc and Broadcom Corp, is hoping to benefit from the increasing popularity of devices such as tablet computers.

Because most people already have cellphones Keitel noted that growth in that market is heavily dependent on consumers trading in their handsets for newer models.

He said he expects the overall phone replacement rate to remain around 34 percent in 2012, similar to 2011.

On November 2 Qualcomm reported stronger than expected quarterly results and gave an upbeat forecast for its current fiscal year. Revenue for its fourth quarter ended September 30 was $4.12 billion.

Qualcomm shares rose 48 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $57.88 at mid-afternoon on Nasdaq, representing a 16 percent increase from the end of 2010.

Reporting by Sinead Carew; Editing by Richard Chang

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