Qualcomm building
A Qualcomm sign is pictured at one of its many campus buildings in San Diego. Courtesy Qualcomm

San Diego-based Qualcomm forecast second-quarter revenue and profit below Wall Street estimates on Thursday as the company grapples with the combined toll of weak demand for smartphones and a supply glut.

The stock, which initially rose 2.7% in after-hours trading, fell 1%.

“Discussions with mobile service providers revealed a continued and deepening weakness in smartphone demand globally which doesn’t bode well for Qualcomm,” said Maribel Lopez, tech analyst at Lopez Research.

Still, while inflation and macroeconomic uncertainty has hurt consumer electronics sales, Qualcomm has been somewhat buffered by the fact it focuses on premium smartphones, a market that has higher margins. It has also diversified, pushing into new fast-growing areas such as automotive.

The chipmaker forecast current quarter revenue in the range of $8.7 billion to $9.5 billion, compared with analysts’ estimates of $9.55 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Its fiscal first quarter revenue dropped 12% year-on-year to $9.46 billion, below Wall Street expectation of $9.60 billion as Qualcomm also grapples with weak demand for smartphones and a supply glut.

Smartphone shipments dropped 18.3% in the quarter ended Dec. 31 marking the largest ever quarterly slump, according to data from research firm IDC, as even the holiday shopping season could not revive battered consumer spending.

Smartphone chip firms including Apple supplier Qorvo forecast downbeat earnings as its customers continued to clear bloated inventory. Analysts at Cowen expect smartphone shipments will fall 4% this year as recovery in China demand will take some time following a big COVID-19 outbreak.

First quarter revenue from Qualcomm’s handset business, which makes up the largest chunk of total sales, fell 18% on year to $5.75 billion, compared to a 40% growth in the previous quarter.

It expects adjusted earnings per share to be between $2.05 and $2.25, compared to analysts expectations of $2.26 per share.