Qualcomm Go Forward Strategy Unchanged; Well-Positioned for 5G Leadership and Continued Growth in New Industries
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) (“Qualcomm” or “the Company”) today announced the termination of the acquisition of NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) (“NXP”) by Qualcomm River Holdings B.V., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, effective immediately.
In accordance with the terms of the purchase agreement, Qualcomm River Holdings will pay a termination fee of $2 billion to NXP on July 26, 2018. In connection with this termination, Qualcomm River Holdings has terminated its previously announced cash tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of NXP.
Qualcomm also announced today that its Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program of $30 billion, which replaces the Company’s existing $10 billion stock repurchase authorization. Qualcomm expects to execute the majority of the stock repurchase program prior to the close of fiscal year 2019.
By executing this stock repurchase program, and other previously announced strategic objectives, including its $1 billion cost plan and diversifying into new growth industries, Qualcomm remains well-positioned to drive significant accretion and value for stockholders.
Steve Mollenkopf, Chief Executive Officer, Qualcomm Incorporated, commented, “Our core strategy of driving Qualcomm technologies into higher growth industries remains unchanged. We will continue to focus on our strong momentum in these growth industries with projected revenues of approximately $5 billion for fiscal year 2018, up greater than 70 percent from fiscal year 2016. We believe our technology leadership and disciplined execution will drive significant value creation for our stockholders.”
Qualcomm continues to achieve strong growth, accelerated by its expansion and momentum in the areas of IoT, Automotive, RFFE, Compute, and Networking:
• IoT – Qualcomm continues to lead in IoT, with more than $1 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2017. The Company has developed an indirect channel to reach more than 9,000 customers through third parties, including more than 25 global distributors.
• Automotive – Qualcomm is poised to deliver robust connectivity solutions and leading intelligence capabilities for the connected car of tomorrow. As of July 2018, our backlog of awarded design wins is $5 billion, up from $3 billion in January 2018.
• RFFE – Qualcomm’s RFFE solution has secured design wins with top-tier smartphone manufacturers in addition to securing non-binding memorandums of understanding with a contract value of $2 billion with leading OEMs: Lenovo, OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi.
• Advanced Compute – Qualcomm is redefining the connected PC experience with launches from ASUS, HP and Lenovo, based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 Mobile Platform.
• Networking – Qualcomm’s technology is driving the industry, leading in Home and Enterprise Wireless Networks and in Mesh Wi-Fi.
Qualcomm continues to lead in 5G and expects to see significant short- and long-term opportunities as the next wave of cellular technology dramatically transforms industries. These new opportunities are helping increase the size of Qualcomm’s Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM) to $100 billion. Qualcomm’s leadership in the areas of advanced compute, connectivity and AI, the key technology building blocks of 5G, positions the Company extremely well to secure leadership positions in these new areas.
An accompanying investor presentation will be available on the investor relations section of the Qualcomm website at http://investor.qualcomm.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
In addition to the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to statements regarding; Qualcomm River Holdings payment of a termination fee of $2 billion to NXP on July 26, 2018; the Company’s intent to execute on a significant stock repurchase program, and the timing thereof; the Company’s expansion into adjacencies/growth areas and its expectations regarding continued progress in, and the financial contributions of, those areas; the Company’s business, financial, product and technology strategies and its being well-positioned to drive significant accretion and value for stockholders by executing on those strategies; and the Company’s opportunities, the size of those opportunities, and its ability to take advantage of those opportunities. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by words such as “estimates,” “guidance,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks” and similar expressions. Actual results may differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements due to a number of important factors, including but not limited to: risks associated with our proposed acquisition of NXP, and our termination of that acquisition; commercial network deployments, expansions and upgrades of CDMA, OFDMA and other communications technologies, our customers’ and licensees’ sales of products and services based on these technologies and our customers’ demand for our products and services; competition in an environment of rapid technological change; our dependence on a small number of customers and licensees; our dependence on the premium-tier device segment; attacks on our licensing business model, including current and future legal proceedings and governmental investigations and proceedings, or actions of quasi-governmental bodies or standards or industry organizations; potential changes in our patent licensing practices, whether due to governmental investigations, private legal proceedings challenging those practices, or otherwise; the enforcement and protection of our intellectual property rights; our ability to extend our technologies, products and services into new and expanded product areas and adjacent industry segments; risks associated with operation and control of manufacturing facilities of our joint venture, RF360 Holdings; the continued and future success of our licensing programs, which requires us to continue to evolve our patent portfolio, and which may be impacted by the proliferation of devices in new industry segments such as automotive and IoT, and the need to extend license agreements that are expiring; our dependence on a limited number of third-party suppliers; claims by third parties that we infringe their intellectual property; strategic acquisitions, transactions and investments or our inability to consummate planned strategic acquisitions; our cost plan; our compliance with laws, regulations, policies and standards; our use of open source software; our stock price and earnings volatility; our indebtedness and our significant proposed stock repurchase program; security breaches or other misappropriation of our intellectual property or proprietary or confidential information; potential tax liabilities; global regional or local economic conditions that impact the industries in which we operate; our ability to attract and retain qualified employees; foreign currency fluctuations; and failures in our products or services or in the products or services of our customers or licensees, including those resulting from security vulnerabilities, defects or errors. These and other risks are set forth in the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended June 24, 2018 filed with the SEC. Our reports filed with the SEC are available on our website at www.qualcomm.com. We undertake no obligation to update, or continue to provide information with respect to, any forward-looking statement or risk factor, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries.
Qualcomm Snapdragonis a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
ECB launches small climate-change unit to lead Lagarde’s green push
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is setting up a small team dedicated to climate change to spearhead its efforts to help the transition to a greener economy in the euro zone, ECB President Christine Lagarde said on Monday.
Lagarde has made the environment a priority since taking the helm at the ECB, taking a number of steps to include climate considerations in the central bank’s work as the euro zone’s banking watchdog and main financial institution.
She is now creating a team of around 10 ECB employees, reporting directly to her, to set the central bank’s agenda on climate-related topics.
“The climate change centre provides the structure we need to tackle the issue with the urgency and determination that it deserves,” Lagarde said in a speech.
She said that climate change belonged in the ECB’s remit as it could affect inflation and obstruct the flow of credit to the economy.
The ECB said earlier on Monday it would invest some of its own funds, which total 20.8 billion euros ($25.3 billion) and include capital paid in by euro zone countries, reserves and provisions, in a green bond fund run by the Bank for International Settlement.
More significantly, ECB policymakers are also debating what role climate considerations should play in the institution’s multi-trillion euro bond-buying programme.
So far the ECB has bought corporate bonds based on their outstanding amounts but Lagarde has said the bank might have to consider a more active approach to correct the market’s failure to price in climate risk.
“Our strategy review enables us to consider more deeply how we can continue to protect our mandate in the face of (climate) risks and, at the same time, strengthen the resilience of monetary policy and our balance sheet,” Lagarde said.
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Francesco Canepa and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
What to expect in 2021: Top trends shaping the future of transportation
By Lee Jones, Director of Sales – Grocery, QSR and Selected Accounts for Northern Europe at Ingenico, a Worldline brand
The pandemic has reinforced the need for businesses to undergo digital transformation, which is pivotal in the digital economy. In 2020, we saw the shift to online and cashless payments accelerated as a result of increased social distancing and nationwide restrictions.
The biggest challenge on all businesses into 2021 will be how they continue to adapt and react to the ever changing new normal we are all experiencing. In this context, what should we expect this year and beyond, in terms of developments across key sectors, including transport, parking and electric vehicle (EV) charging?
Mobility as a service (MaaS) and the future of transportation
Social distancing and lockdown measures have brought about a real change in public habits when it comes to transportation. In the last three months alone, we have seen commuter journeys across the globe reduce by at least 70%, while longer-distance travel has fallen by up to 90%. With it, cash withdrawals for payment has drastically reduced by 60%.
Technological advancements, alongside open payments, have unlocked new possibilities across multiple industries and will continue to have a strong impact. Furthermore, travellers are expecting more as part of their basic service. Tap and pay is one of the biggest evolutions in consumer payments. Bringing ease and simplicity to everyday tasks, consumers have welcomed this development to the transport journey. In-app payments are also on the rise, offering customers the ability to plan ahead and remain assured that they have everything they need, in one place, for every leg of their journey. Many local transport networks now have their own apps with integrated timetables, payments, and ticket download capabilities. These capabilities are being enabled by smaller more portable terminals for transport staff, and self-scanning ticketing devices are streamlining the process even further.
Ultimately, the end goal for many transport providers is MaaS – providing an easy and frictionless all-encompassing transport system that guides consumers through the whole journey, no matter what mode of travel they choose. Additionally, payment will remain the key orchestrator that will drive further developments in the transportation and MaaS ecosystems in 2021. What remains critical is balancing the need for a fast and convenient payment with safety and data privacy in order to deliver superior customer experiences.
The EV charging market and the accelerating pace of change
The EV charging market is moving quickly and represents a large opportunity for payments in the future. EVs are gradually becoming more popular, with registrations for EVs overtaking those of their diesel counterparts for the first time in European history this year. What’s more, forecasts indicate that by 2030, there will be almost 42 million public charging points deployed worldwide, as compared with 520,000 registered in 2019.
Our experience and expertise in this industry have enabled us to better understand but also address the challenges and complexities of fuel and EV payments. The current alternating current (AC) based chargers are set to be replaced by their direct charging (DC) counterparts, but merchants must still be able to guarantee payment for the charging provider. Power always needs to be converted from AC to DC when charging an electric vehicle, the technical difference between AC charging and DC charging is whether the power gets converted outside or inside the vehicle.
By offering innovative payment solutions to this market segment, we enable service operators to incorporate payments smoothly into their omnichannel customer experience that also allows businesses to easily develop acceptance and provide a unique omnichannel strategy for EV charging payments. From proximity to online payments, it will support businesses by offering a unique hardware solution optimized for PSD2 and SCA. It will manage both near field communication (NFC) cards and payments from cards/smartphones, as well as a single interface to manage all payments, after sales support and receipt with both ePortal and eReceipts.
Cashless options for parking payments
The ‘new normal’ is now partly defined by a shift in consumer preference for cashless, contactless and mobile or embedded payments. These are now the preferred payment choices when it comes to completing the check-in and check-out process. They are a time-saver and a more seamless way to pay.
Drivers are more self-reliant and empowered than ever before, having adopted technologies that work to make their life increasingly efficient. COVID-19 has given rise to both ePayment and omnichannel solutions gaining in popularity. This has been due to ticketless access control based on license plate recognition or the tap-in/tap-out experience, as well as embedded payments or mobile solutions for street parking.
These smart solutions help consider parking services more broadly as a part of overall mobility or shopping experience. Therefore, operators must rapidly adapt and scale new operational practices; accept electronic payment, update new contactless limits, introduce additional payments means, refund the user or even to reflect changing customer expectations to keep pace.
2021: the journey ahead
This year, we expect to see an even greater shift towards a cashless society across these key sectors, making the buying experience quicker and more convenient overall.
As a result, merchants and operators must make the consumer experience their top priority as trends shift towards simplicity and convenience, ensuring online and mobile payments processes are as secure as possible.
Opportunities and challenges facing financial services firms in 2021
By Paul McCreadie, Partner at ECI Partners, the leading growth-focused mid-market private equity firm
Despite 2020 being an enormously disruptive year for businesses, our latest Growth Index research reveals that almost three quarters (74%) of mid-market financial services companies remained resilient throughout the pandemic.
This is positive news, especially when taking into account the economic disruption that financial services firms have had to go through since the crisis began. No doubt 2021 will also hold its own challenges – as well as opportunities – for firms in this sector.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest short-term concern for financial firms for the year ahead involved changing pandemic guidance, with 42% citing this as a top concern. With the UK currently experiencing a third lockdown many financial services businesses will have already had to adapt to rapidly changing guidance, even since being surveyed.
Businesses will also be considering the need to invest in working from home operations, and there may be uncertainty over re-opening offices on a permanent basis. According to the research 30% of financial services firms are planning to adopt remote working on a permanent basis, so decisions need to be made now about whether they invest more in enabling staff to do this, or in their current office premises.
Due to Brexit, UK financial services firms are no longer able to passport their services into Europe, which may cause problems, particularly in the next 12 months as the Brexit deal is ironed out and the agreement is put into practice. Despite this, Brexit was only cited by 24% of financial firms as a short-term concern. While it’s comforting to see that UK financial firms aren’t hugely concerned about Brexit at this juncture, it is going to be vital for the ongoing success of the industry that the UK is able to get straightforward access to Europe and operate there without issue, otherwise we may see these concern levels rise.
Looking ahead to longer-term concerns for financial services businesses, the top concern was global economic downturn, of which 40% of firms cited this as a worry when looking beyond 2021.
Investing and adopting tech
Traditionally, the financial services sector has been slow to adopt digital transformation. Issues with legacy systems, coupled with often large amounts of data and a reluctance to undertake potentially risky change processes, have meant many firms are behind the curve when it comes to technology adoption. It’s therefore promising to see that so much has changed over the last year, with 45% of financial services firms having invested in AI and machine learning technology – making it the top sector to have invested in this space over the last 12 months.
One business that exemplifies the benefits of investing in machine learning is Avantia, the technology-enabled insurance provider behind HomeProtect. The business has undergone a large tech transformation in the last few years, investing in an underlying machine learning platform and an in-house data science team, which provides them with capabilities to return a quote to over 98% of applicants in under one second. This tech investment has allowed them to become more scalable, provide a more stable platform, improve customer service and consequently, grow significantly.
This demonstrates how this kind of tech can help businesses to leverage tech in order to offer a better customer experience, and retain and grow market share through winning new customers. This resilience should combat some of the concerns that firms will face in the next year.
Additionally, half (51%) of financial services firms have invested in cybersecurity tech over the last year, which allows them to protect the platforms on which they operate and ensure ongoing provision of solutions to their customers.
Clearly, there is a benefit of international revenues and profits on business resilience. In practice, this meant that businesses that weren’t internationally diversified in 2020 struggled more during the pandemic. In fact, the businesses considered to be the least resilient through the 2020 crisis were three times more likely to only operate domestically.
Perhaps an attribute towards financial services firms’ resilience in 2020, therefore, was the fact that 53% already had a presence in Europe throughout 2020 and 38% had a presence in North America. This internationalisation gave them an advantage that allowed them to weather the many storms of 2020.
Looking at how to capitalise on this throughout the rest of 2021, half (51%) of are planning overseas growth in Europe over the next 12 months, and 43% in North America. Further plans to expand internationally is not only a good sign for growth, but should further increase resilience within the sector.
While there are many concerns, the fact that financial services businesses are investing in technology like AI and machine learning, as well as still planning to grow internationally, means that they are providing themselves with the best chances of dealing with any upcoming challenges effectively.
In order to maintain their growth and resilience throughout the next 12 months, it’s imperative that they continue to put their customers first, invest in technology and remain on the front foot of digital change.
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