Jana Partners Press Qualcomm On Chip Business Spinoff
Jana Partners a hedge fund said Monday that the chip business for Qualcomm Inc was worthless at the current valuations. The hedge fund pressed Qualcomm to spin the chip business off to restore the confidence of investors.
Jana wants Qualcomm as well to lower costs, accelerate its share buyback program, refresh the board and improve its disclosures.
The letter on Monday, of which excerpts were seen by some news agencies, said that Jana was engaged with Qualcomm in a constructive dialogue over the steps the business could take in order to address a long time of underperformance by the share price.
We believe said Jana that the management and board recognize the historical underperformance must be addressed and to improve perceptions of investors of the business.
Barry Rosenstein the managing partner for Jana said that Jana would be working collaboratively with Qualcomm so its share price could be boosted.
Jana has investment that total more than $11 billion and said it owned close to 4.4 million shares of Qualcomm after it invested more than $2 billion with the company.
Shares of Qualcomm were up by 1.6% in early Monday trading from Friday’s close. Since the beginning of 2015 until the close of business on Friday, Qualcomm stock had dropped close to 7%.
Jana announced that at the current share price of Qualcomm, the chipset company was for the most part worthless and would be better valued by a partial or full separation.
Qualcomm, which has a $114 billion market value said in March it was going to buy back $15 billion in stock.
While that buyback is a solid step, Qualcomm must do more, including strategic deals, said Jana.
Most of the revenue Qualcomm generates is from selling chips, which enable phones to communicate with their carrier network. However, most of the company profit is from its licensing patents.