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Qualcomm sinks on profit concerns

The cell phone maker's shares fall on concern that fourth-quarter profit won't top forecasts as much as in previous quarters.

Shares of Qualcomm fell as much as 12 percent on concern that fiscal fourth-quarter profit won't top forecasts as widely as in past quarters.

Qualcomm, the best-performing stock this year on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, tumbled 17.1875 to 175 in afternoon trading. It was the fourth-most active stock on the Nasdaq market.

A report from Everen Securities analyst Mark Roberts, who met with company management yesterday, said that falling prices and a shortage of components could prevent the company from beating forecasts as much as it has in the past.

"We caution investors that although the company has substantially beat estimates the last couple quarters, we doubt the company has the ability to exceed fourth-quarter expectations to that same extent," Roberts wrote.

In the third quarter, Qualcomm's profit rose to $134.9 million, or 75 cents a share, including the sale of a cellular-network division, from $24.7 million, or 17 cents, a year earlier. That beat the 63-cent average estimate of analysts polled by First Call.

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