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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.

Company Info

Revenues* $5.2 BILLION
Revenue Growth 24.6%
Return on Equity 18.2%
Total Return12.0%
Profits* $1.9 BILLION
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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Company Snapshot

QUALCOMM Incorporated engages in the development, design, manufacture, and marketing of digital wireless telecommunications products and services based on code division multiple access (CDMA) technology. It develops and supplies CDMA-based integrated circuits and system software for wireless voice and data communications, multimedia functions, and global positioning system products for wireless device and infrastructure manufacturers. The company grants licenses to use portions of its intellectual property portfolio, which includes patent rights essential to or used in the manufacture and sale of CDMA products. It offers satellite and terrestrial-based two-way data messaging and position reporting services for transportation companies, private fleets, construction equipment fleets, and other enterprise companies. The company provides the binary runtime environment for wireless product and services to network operators, handset manufacturers, and application developers; and support for developing and delivering over-the-air wireless applications and services. In addition, QUALCOMM makes strategic investments to promote worldwide adoptions of CDMA products and services for wireless voice and Internet data communications. The company markets its products through direct sales force, partnerships, and distributors in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, and Mexico. QUALCOMM was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

No. of Employees


Data provided by Capital IQ
Irwin M. Jacobs

Irwin M. Jacobs

AGE: 71


Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and Member of Strategic Committee

CEO Bio >

Total Compensation*


Total Value of Options**

$407.3 MILLION

Degrees Held

Cornell University (Bachelor's Degree), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (ScD)

* Latest available fiscal year
** The sum of the net value of options exercised and held in the latest available fiscal year

Key Executives

Irwin Mark Jacobs, Anthony S. Thornley, Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Steven R. Altman, Dr. Sanjay K. Jha, William Keitel, Dr. Roberto Padovani, Jeffrey A. Jacobs, Margaret L. Johnson, Kimberly M. Koro, Chris A. Wolfe, Louis M. Lupin, Dr. Daniel L. Sullivan, Norm Fjeldheim, William F. Davidson Jr., Jeffrey K. Belk

Board Members

Irwin Mark Jacobs, Richard Sulpizio, Paul E. Jacobs, Richard C. Atkinson, Adelia A. Coffman, Diana Lady Dougan, Robert E. Kahn, Duane Nelles, Peter M. Sacerdote, Brent Scowcroft, Marc I. Stern, Raymond V. Dittamore, Jing Wang

Data provided by Capital IQ
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