Skip to Content
Stock Analyst Update

CEO Transition Won't Affect Qualcomm's 5G Leadership

Our fair value estimate for narrow-moat Qualcomm remains $124 per share.


On Jan. 5, Qualcomm (QCOM) announced that CEO Steve Mollenkopf will step down on June 30, with current president Cristiano Amon taking his place. Mollenkopf has been CEO of Qualcomm since 2014 and has helped steer the firm through a number of challenges with its licensing business, including regulatory scrutiny from numerous countries and customer backlash (most notably from Apple). Additionally, the firm successfully dealt with an activist investor, thwarted a hostile takeover attempt by Broadcom, and navigated the failed acquisition of NXP over the course of Mollenkopf’s tenure. With all major handset original equipment manufacturers under license, including over 110 5G agreements, and Qualcomm also winning an appeal in the U.S. antitrust suit over its licensing business against the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, we view the company's licensing business as being stabilized. Management anticipates a midpoint of 500 million 5G smartphones to be shipped in 2021, with many featuring substantial chip content from Qualcomm. We believe Amon, who has been with Qualcomm for the majority of his career, will be able to maintain the firm’s current strategy of capitalizing on its 5G leadership and diversifying beyond smartphones into automotive and the Internet of Things. Our fair value estimate for narrow-moat Qualcomm remains $124 per share, and we recommend prospective investors wait for a pullback.

Morningstar Premium Members gain exclusive access to our full analyst reports, including fair value estimates, bull and bear breakdowns, and risk analyses. Not a Premium Member? Get this and other reports immediately when you try Morningstar Premium free for 14 days.

Abhinav Davuluri does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

Transparency is how we protect the integrity of our work and keep empowering investors to achieve their goals and dreams. And we have unwavering standards for how we keep that integrity intact, from our research and data to our policies on content and your personal data.

We’d like to share more about how we work and what drives our day-to-day business.

We sell different types of products and services to both investment professionals and individual investors. These products and services are usually sold through license agreements or subscriptions. Our investment management business generates asset-based fees, which are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. We also sell both admissions and sponsorship packages for our investment conferences and advertising on our websites and newsletters.

How we use your information depends on the product and service that you use and your relationship with us. We may use it to:

  • Verify your identity, personalize the content you receive, or create and administer your account.
  • Provide specific products and services to you, such as portfolio management or data aggregation.
  • Develop and improve features of our offerings.
  • Gear advertisements and other marketing efforts towards your interests.

To learn more about how we handle and protect your data, visit our privacy center.

Maintaining independence and editorial freedom is essential to our mission of empowering investor success. We provide a platform for our authors to report on investments fairly, accurately, and from the investor’s point of view. We also respect individual opinions––they represent the unvarnished thinking of our people and exacting analysis of our research processes. Our authors can publish views that we may or may not agree with, but they show their work, distinguish facts from opinions, and make sure their analysis is clear and in no way misleading or deceptive.

To further protect the integrity of our editorial content, we keep a strict separation between our sales teams and authors to remove any pressure or influence on our analyses and research.

Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.