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Photo: VCG via Getty Images

As expected, Qualcomm plans to drop its long-running bid to buy rival NXP Semiconductors, instead spending up to $30 billion to buy back its own stock. The company announced the moves alongside a better-than-expected quarterly earnings report.

The bottom line: The deal, announced back in 2016, had been stalled awaiting Chinese regulatory approval. Qualcomm's latest tender offer had been slated to expire later this evening.

What they're saying: “We intend to terminate our purchase agreement to acquire NXP when the agreement expires at the end of the day today, pending any new material developments," Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said in a statement. "Upon termination of the agreement, we intend to pursue a stock repurchase program of up to $30 billion to deliver significant value to our stockholders.”

The deal's end means Qualcomm will owe a $2 billion breakup fee to NXP. CNBC reported earlier Wednesday that Qualcomm was likely to drop the NXP bid.

By the numbers: On the earnings front, Qualcomm reported per-share earnings of 82 cents, on revenue of $5.6 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 71 cents per share, on revenue of $5.2 billion, according to Zacks.

What's next: Even with a buyback, Qualcomm will be under pressure to show that it can grow its chip business significantly beyond its cell phone roots, while ideally also maintaining its licensing business.

Update: On its conference call, Qualcomm said it expects that Apple will exclusively use rivals' modem chips on the next iPhone as its licensing dispute with the company continues. Apple has used a mix of Intel and Qualcomm modems on past iPhones. (Qualcomm will still supply some modem chips for older iPhone models.)

Go deeper

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It was 563 days ago that the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by healthcare reporter Caitlin Owens, looks at our Covid future.

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for NYC teachers

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court judge on Friday temporarily blocked New York City schools from enforcing a vaccine mandate for school employees, days before it was set to take effect, AP reports.

Driving the news: The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system.

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

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