Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) stock has been volatile over the past few months. QCOM stock went from $57 in mid-April to almost $90 by the end of the month. By mid-May — one month after Qualcomm stock rocketed higher — the shares were back down to $65.
Holy moly, that’s a lot of volatility for a name that many own for income. Some income investors can ignore that kind of noise and use it to their advantage. That is, they can reap the reward of the gains of QCOM stock, yet smile when it declines, knowing that their reinvested dividends are buying more shares of QCOM stock.
But QCOM stock looks like a tough dividend stock to stomach. After all, Qualcomm stock is bouncing around more than high-octane growth names like Shopify (NASDAQ:SHOP) and Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU), with the latter name recently hitting new, all-time highs. The bottom line is that there are far less volatile names with yields similar to that of QCOM stock.
But the charts indicate that Qualcomm stock could be presenting investors with the perfect buying opportunity. Let’s take a closer look.
Trading QCOM Stock
QCOM is sitting right above its uptrend support, depicted by the upward-sloping blue line. However, on Tuesday QCOM stock importantly closed over its short-term downtrend resistance (depicted by the downward sloping blue line with the number “2” above it. ). A similar pattern has played out for a longer period of time, with the purple lines highlighting the wedge.
So what does all this mean?
That data alone isn’t necessarily enough to convince investors to go long QCOM stock, but have a closer look; Qualcomm stock is staying above its 20-day and 50-day moving averages.
The most attractive part of the setup, though, is the fact that QCOM is so close to its uptrend support and those moving averages. That puts buyers in a low-risk trading situation. Since it’s easy for them to pull the plug on the trade and sell their position on a slight breakdown, they can avoid the pain of a major reversal. The only caveat is that QCOM can’t be too volatile.
With their downside limited, traders can look to ride QCOM stock up to its monthly high near $80.76.
For longer term investors, this trade setup may not be applicable. However, for them, another trade may be worthwhile. Specifically, it’s pretty clear what a vital level $65 is for QCOM stock. While it seems unlikely that the tech giant would pull back and test that area, remember that it did so just last month.
An unfavorable development involving Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the DoJ or any number of catalysts can negatively impact Qualcomm stock. Keep the $65 level in mind on any deep pullbacks.
Weighing Qualcomm Stock
Recently, I asked whether being long Qualcomm stock was worth the risk. In its settlement with Apple, Qualcomm was paid at least $4.5 billion and agreed to a six-year licensing deal. Further, all legal disputes between the two companies were dropped, clearing a huge headwind for QCOM stock and making one of the world’s richest firms its customer.
The bulls didn’t get to enjoy their spoils for long, though.
The FTC made a huge fuss about Qualcomm, arguing that its practices are anti-competitive. Judge Lucy Koh ruled that QCOM is a monopoly and must change the way it does business. The FTC also accused QCOM of charging excessive licensing fees for its technology and has forced the company to submit annual compliance reports for the next seven years to the agency.
On Wednesday, QCOM stock rose slightly as the DoJ reportedly sought to delay the enforcement of the antitrust ruling. The Justice Department argued that the ruling would force the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense to suffer intolerable supply disruptions. The DoJ also says that QCOM will likely win its appeal.
At the end of the day, the legal issues facing QCOM create both opportunity and risk.While analysts, on average, only expect QCOM’s earnings to increase an anemic 2.7% this year, investors are banking on forecasts of 35% growth next year.
I like the way QCOM stock has set up on the chart, but I am also aware of its legal risks.
Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. Bret Kenwell was long AAPL, ROKU and SHOP.
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