Qualcomm is likely to break up

divorce460Chipmaker Qualcomm said it may break itself up as it delivered its third profit warning this year and announced plans to slash 4,000 jobs and spending in the face of rising competition.

The outfit plans to reduce costs by $1.4 billion, cut about 4,500 full-time staff, or 15 percent of its workforce.

The staff cuts were expected but were closer to what deep throats told it earlier in the week than the Wall Street Journal’s prediction of 3,000.

Qualcomm shares have lost a fifth of their value in a year.

Hedge fund Jana Partners called for Qualcomm to spin off its chip business from its profitable patent licensing income, among other changes the activist asked for.

Qualcomm president Derek Aberle said the company had decided to take a fresh look at the corporate structure.

“The environment is constantly changing so the analysis done earlier may not be valid anymore, so it’s in that context that we’re taking a look at it again now,” Aberle said.

The company said it expected to complete its strategic review by the end of the year and agreed to add three new board members in cooperation with the activist.

Qualcomm is facing intense competition from Taiwan’s MediaTek and a handful of small Chinese companies that specialise in making chips for low-priced phones.

Samsung said it would use its own processor for the new Galaxy S6 smartphone instead of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon.

The company cut both its full year revenue forecast and the outlook for its semiconductor business.

Revenues fell 14.3 percent to $5.83 billion in the third quarter — the first quarterly fall in five years — and missed the average analyst estimate of $5.85 billion.