Friday, October 17, 2008

Semiconductor Stocks

EDN Magazine has a report on the strength of various semiconductor companies going into the down turn.

FBR Research has touched on one of the trends this blog has been covering for the past few weeks: the idea that as macroeconomic conditions worsen, opportunity will arise for the stronger companies within the tech sector, and specifically within semiconductors, to increase their strength by acquiring their perceived weaker rivals.
Buy low sell high. If you can. a report this week, the semiconductor market research company broke out a short list of companies (the "Haves") that it believes are positioned to benefit from these crunch economic times by buying lesser competitors, accelerating product development efforts, or buying back meaningful amounts of stock. FBR also noted other companies (the "Have-Nots") that could be forced to take drastic actions to ensure they remain competitive.

In compiling its Haves and Have Nots lists, FBR looked at free cash flow as a percentage of revenues; net cash/debt, in dollars; net cash as a percentage of revenues; share gainer or loser; expected degree of revenue decline; expected degree of revenue decline; margin leverage during sales decline; quality of management; and ability to execute share buyback.

As for the Haves, FBR named, in strength order, Broadcom, Silicon Labs, Intel, Maxim, International Rectifier, and Marvell.
I especially like International Rectifier. Power Electronics is growing at an astounding rate (hybrid auto demand and solar DC to AC conversion are feeding that) and IR is a leader in its field. They are also able to charge premium prices for their parts due to their leadership and outstanding quality.


Karl said...

Thanks for your thoughts. What do you think of NSM- National Semi? Another company I heard much buzz about was KLAC KLA Tencor, altho this was a while back, but it seemed well positioned.

M. Simon said...

National typically likes to compete on price while avoiding bleeding edge technology. They are big in power technology but they tend to be a bipolar house when it comes to power.

Which is OK for integrated devices. For now the future is in discrete Power MOSFETs. IR is the best there.

National is good in the control area and in integrating power devices with control devices.

I'm not that familiar with their financials.