Morgan Stanley Downgrades Qualcomm

Analyst Louis Gerhardy sees 2005 as transition year for the wireless telecommunications company

Morgan Stanley downgrades wireless-telecommunications company Qualcomm (QCOM ) to underweight from equal-weight.

Analyst Louis Gerhardy sees Qualcomm as having tough time sustaining its signficant valuation premium next year, is thus likely to drop in price. He notes Qualcomm shares have risen 63%, while average semiconductor stock in his universe has declined 27% year-to-date.

He expects fiscal 2005 (Sept.) to be a transition year for the company as a major growth driver of its opportunity profit shifts to wireless CDMA from CDMA technology. While he continues to see fiscal 2006 and fiscal 2007 as strong growth years for the company, he says Qualcomm could trade down 15% to 20% (into the mid-$30s) before it can sustain a more meaningful advance.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.