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Qualcomm tiptoes past 4Q estimates

Qualcomm topped analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter Thursday, earning $200.8 million, or 25 cents a share, on sales of $635 million.

First Call Corp. consensus expected it to post a profit of 24 cents a share in the quarter.

Ahead of the earnings report, Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) shares gained $1.31 to $62.81.

The $635 million in sales marks an 11 percent improvement from the year-ago quarter when it earned $182.9 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $716 million.

"This year we continued to focus on improving profitability while investing in areas of future growth," said CEO Irwin Jacobs in a prepared release. "As we move forward, we plan to leverage future growth opportunities by continuing our strong market position with 1x, 1xEV and multi-mode integrated circuits and further developing and investing in wireless data and Internet access applications."

Company officials said they are comfortable with the current First Call Corp. profit estimates of $1.29 a share in fiscal 2001.

Sluggish sales of NSM integrated circuits to South Korea was the main reason for the revenue decline, company officials said.

For the year, Qualcomm earned $670.2 million, or $1.05 a share, on sales of $2.8 billion.

Last quarter, Qualcomm met analysts' estimates, earning $218 million, or 27 cents a share, on sales of $714 million.

Nineteen of the 23 analysts following the stock maintain either a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation.

The stock peaked at $200 in January before falling to a low of $51.50 in July.