The Information Technology 100
Qualcomm is a pioneer in wireless communications. It launched the digital wireless standard known as CDMA, which is used by major carriers such as Sprint and Verizon Wireless. It's popular in Asia, too. Qualcomm also developed BREW, an operating system used to create advanced wireless phone applications such as games, video, and photo-sharing.
For its next act, Qualcomm plans to introduce a new version of CDMA that boosts network capacity by 40%. That will help wireless companies add more traffic without buying expensive spectrum. The company, which makes money by licensing its software, has a hefty profit margin of 39%. It expects earnings growth of 11% this year. That's down from an original forecast of 15% because European sales are weaker than expected. Still, Qualcomm seems to be going strong, as founder and CEO Irwin Jacobs, a former engineering professor, prepares to hand leadership to his son Paul on July 1.
|Return on Equity||18.2%|
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All figures are for the most recent available 12 months.
* Latest available data for the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, Jan. 31, Feb. 29, Mar. 31, or Apr. 30. For companies that do not report quarterly, the most recent annual data were used.
Data provided by Standard & Poor's Compustat, BusinessWeek
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