Investors who owned stocks in the 2010s generally experienced some big gains. In fact, the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) total return for the decade was 250.5%. But there’s no question some big-name stocks did much better than others along the way.
Qualcomm’s Difficult Decade
One stock that had plenty of highs and lows over the past decade is semiconductor giant QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM).
The rise of smartphones, online gaming, cloud computing, cryptocurrency and other innovations created a boom in semiconductor demand over the past decade. Unfortunately for Qualcomm, the decade was partially defined by licensing disputes, merger uncertainty and rising competition.
The two biggest headlines of the decade for Qualcomm came during the last two years.
In March 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump blocked a potential $117 billion Qualcomm buyout by Broadcom Inc (NASDAQ: AVGO) on national security grounds. After the failed merger, Qualcomm investors got some good news in March 2019 when Qualcomm and Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) reached a settlement on all ongoing lawsuits and agreed to a six-year global patent licensing agreement to preserve their crucial relationship.
Qualcomm shares started the 2010s trading at around $47. By the end of 2010, the stock had already hit its low point of the decade, dropping to $31.63. Qualcomm shares rallied as high as $81.97 in 2014, but wouldn’t make new decade highs again until 2019.
After about five years of consolidation, Qualcomm hit $90 for the first time in early 2019, hitting $90.34 before pulling back to $67.12.
2020 And Beyond
Qualcomm reached its decade high of $96.17 in mid-January 2020.
Qualcomm has yet to come anywhere close to returning to its all-time dot-com bubble high of $740.12, but the popular semiconductor stock was a solid overall performer over the past decade. In fact, $100 worth of Qualcomm stock in 2010 would be worth $312 today, assuming reinvested dividends.
Looking ahead, analysts expect Qualcomm to pick up steam in 2020. The average price target among the 23 analysts covering the stock is $100, suggesting 10.2% upside from current levels.
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