Evercore analysts Mark McKechnie and Zachary Amsel rate Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) as overweight as Samsung misses Q4 estimates upon competition from Apple Inc. (NADAQ:AAPL) iPhone sales ramp. Post close Monday, Samsung announced Q4 guidance of top-line / op. profit of KRW 59T / KRW 8.3T – a miss vs. the street’s KRW 61.5T / KRW 9.9T. Analysts have to assume handsets are part of the disappointment.

apple Inc. AAPL samsung

Apple iPhone sales weakens Samsung

Analysts think the Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) weakness could be partly due to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Q4 iPhone ramp impacting GS4 sales in Q4. They suspect Samsung will remain weak in March as well ahead of its GS5 ramp. Thus weakness at Samsung could be partly offset by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s product ramp for Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM). They also note that Qualcomm guided in late November, thus likely factoring in some of the Samsung weakness at the time of their report.

Analysts remain comfortable with their December estimate of $1.18 on $6.7B for QCOM in line with consensus vs. guide for $1.10-$1.20 on $6.3-$6.9B. At this point, they see limited upside to their $1.24 on $6.3B forecast for March vs. consensus of $1.27 on $6.7B, but remain comfortable in their FY14 estimate of $5.00.

Expectations from Qualcomm

Analysts reportedly would not be surprised to see uncertainty during the preview season into Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM)’s report, scheduled for 1/29. Analysts’ price target is based on ~ 15x their FY15 estimate of $5.45. Risks include: 1) concentration of smart phone leadership and vertical integration by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930), 2) challenges of fabless model in moving towards new process nodes, and 3) slower-than expected adoption of 3G/4G in favor of carrier Wi-Fi which could hamper Qualcomm’s royalty growth.

InvenSense unaffected

For InvenSense Inc (NYSE:INVN), analysts remain comfortable with our near-term estimates as 1) They suspect Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930)’s weakness is largely GS4 related (no content for INVN), 2) thus the Galaxy mini (good content for INVN) was generally in-line, and 3) analysts thus believe INVN’s December guide for sales of $65-68M, down 6.3% q/q remains achievable. Analysts at the research firm will be meeting with INVN management Wednesday at noon PDT during CES.