Best Semiconductor Companies To Watch For 2015

All Steve Isola wanted was to take up General Motors on its offer of a free rental car until the automaker could make recall repairs on his 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt. But neither his local dealer nor GM has been able to give him one.

GM says it’s had 9,000 requests such as Isola’s, and it intends that they all be honored. But sometimes the best intentions don’t mesh with practical reality.

Dwayne Haapanen, general manager at Kolar Chevrolet in Hermantown, Minn., near Duluth, says customers have parked nine of the recalled models at the dealership, refusing to drive them until they are fixed.

But it’s taken awhile to get rental cars for Isola and three other customers; Haapanen believes he’ll have them all “squared away” by Thursday. “There’s been a bit of a struggle finding the cars. I burned up all my loaner fleet, and we’ve been renting from Enterprise — and now they are out of cars.”

Best Semiconductor Companies To Watch For 2015: Solitron Devices Inc (SODI)

Solitron Devices, Inc., incorporated on March 12, 1987, designs, develops, manufactures and markets solid-state semiconductor components and related devices primarily for the military and aerospace markets. The Company manufactures a variety of bipolar and metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) power transistors, power and controls hybrids, junction and power MOS field effect transistors (Power MOSFETS), field effect transistors and other related products. It’s products are custom made pursuant to contracts with customers whose end products are sold to the United States government. The Company’s semiconductor products can be classified as active electronic components. The Company’s active electronic components include bipolar transistors and MOS transistors.

The Company’s semiconductor products are used as components of military, commercial, and aerospace electronic equipment, such as ground and airborne radar systems, power distribution systems, missiles, miss ile control systems, and spacecraft. Its products have been used on the space shuttle and on the spacecraft sent to the moon, to Jupiter (on Galileo) and, to Mars (on Global Surveyor and Mars Sojourner).

Power Transistors

The Company manufactures a variety of power bipolar transistors for applications requiring currents in the range of 0.1 ampere to 300 ampere or voltages in the range of 30 volts to 1000 volts. It also manufactures power diodes under the same military specification. In addition, it manufactures power N-Channel and P-Channel MOSFET transistors and is expanding that line in accordance with customers’ requirements.

Hybrids

The Company manufactures thick film hybrids, which generally contain discrete semiconductor chips, integrated circuits, chip capacitors and thick film or thin film resistors. The hybrids are of the high-power type and are custom manufactured for military and aerospace systems. Some of the Company’s hybrids include high power voltage regulators, p! ower amplifiers, power drivers, boosters and controllers. The Company manufactures both standard and custom hybrids.

Voltage Regulators

Voltage regulators provide the power required to activate electronic components such as the integrated circuits. These circuits are found in all electronic devices from radar and missile systems to smart phones.

Field Effect Transistors

The Company manufactures about 30 different types of junction and MOS field effect transistor chips. They are used to produce over 350 different field effect transistor types. The Company’s field effect transistors conform to standard Joint Electronic Device Engineering Council designated transistors, commonly referred to as standard 2N number types. It manufactures both standard and custom field effect transistors.

The Competes with IXYS Corporation, Motorola Inc., International Rectifier, Microsemi Corporation, M.S. Kennedy Corporation, Nat el Engineering Company and Sensitron Semiconductor.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Geoff Gannon] strong>OPT-Sciences (OPST)

    Micropac

    Micropac is 76% owned by Heinz-Werner Hempel. He’s a German businessman. You can see the German company he founded here. He’s had control of Micropac for a long-time. I don’t have an exact number in front of me. But I would guess it’s been something like 25 years.

    ADDvantage

    ADDvantage Technologies is controlled by the Chymiak brothers. See the company’s April 4 press release explaining their decision to turn over the CEO position to an outsider. Regardless, the Chymiaks still control 47% of the company. Ken Chymiak is now chairman. And David Chymiak is still a director and now the company’s chief technology officer. Clearly, it’s still their company.

    By the way, the name ADDvantage Technologies has nothing to do with the Chymiaks. Today’s AEY really traces its roots to a private company called Tulsat. The Chymiak brothers acquired that company about 27 years ago. So, effectively, when you buy shares of AEY you are buying into a 27-year-old family-controlled company.

    That’s pretty typical in the world of net-nets.

    Solitron

    Solitron Devices is 29% owned by Shevach Saraf. He has been the CEO for 20 years. The post-bankruptcy Solitron has never known another CEO. Before the bankruptcy, Solitron was a much bigger, much different company. So even though we are not talking about the founder here – and even though 70% of the company’s shares are not held by the CEO – we’re still talking about a company where one person has a lot of control. Solitron only has three directors. Saraf is the chairman, CEO, president, CFO and treasurer. Neither of the other two directors joined the board within the last 15 years. So, we aren’t talking about a lot of tumult at the top.

    In fact, profitable net-nets seem to be especially common candidates for abandoning the responsibilities of a public company without actually getting taken private.

    OPT -Sciences

    This

  • [By Geoff Gannon]

    Solitron (SODI) sells at 74% of NCAV, has decent z- and f-scores, a FCF margin of 5.3% and an ROA of 12%.

    Micropac (MPAD) sells at 83% of NCAV, has similar (slightly better) z- and f-scores, a FCF margin of 6%, but has ROA of 28%.

    ADDvantage (AEY) sells at 95% of NCAV, has similar (in the ballpark) scores and FCF and ROA of 23%.

  • [By Geoff Gannon] on the amount of stock you can buy and the position size you like. For me, I try not to start buying a stock that I think will never make up 10% of my portfolio. If you don’t mind having 5% positions in your portfolio, your portfolio can obviously be twice as big as mine and you can still consider buying the same small stocks I do. In terms of specific stocks, it depends on the amount of float and the volume the stock trades in an average month. We are really getting into specifics here. And I may be boring people. But if you’d like to hear more about the minutiae of how you actually buy and sell tiny stocks like these, let me know, and I’ll do an article on the subject.

    By the way, there is a hard and fast rule of thumb that it usually makes no sense to invest in a company with a market cap that is smaller than your portfolio. This is true for both fund and individual investors. Funds break it all the time. But, frankly, it is probably a waste of an analyst/fund manager’s time to even analyze such tiny positions relative to the size of the whole portfolio. Since even when we are discussing very small stocks we are still talking about millions and millions of dollars in market cap, this is hardly a concern for most individuals.

    So, for individual investors, actual inability to acquire enough shares of a company to meaningful influence their portfolio is rarely the problem. If you bid for a stock month after month — you’ll get your shares.

    The concern for individual investors is not whether buying enough shares is possible. The concern is how quickly and easily you can buy and sell. This is what we call “liquidity.”

    Instead of thinking about stocks as liquid or illiquid, you should think in terms of your portfolio and your liquidity needs. It doesn’t make much sense to use what I’ll call an “objective” (as in stock-oriented) approach to liquidity rather than a “subjective” (as in investor-oriented) approa ch to liquidity.

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Best Semiconductor Companies To Watch For 2015: Micron Technology Inc.(MU)

Micron Technology, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and marketing of semiconductor devices worldwide. Its products include dynamic random access memory (DRAM) products that provide data storage and retrieval, which include DDR2 and DDR3; and other specialty DRAM memory products, including DDR, SDRAM, DDR and DDR2 mobile low power DRAM, pseudo-static RAM, and reduced latency DRAM. The company also offers NAND flash memory products, which are electrically re-writeable and non-volatile semiconductor devices that retain content when power is turned off. In addition, it provides NOR flash memory products that are electrically re-writeable and non-volatile semiconductor memory devices; phase change memory products; and image sensor products. Micron Technology?s products are used in a range of electronic applications, including personal computers, workstations, network servers, mobile phones, flash memory cards, USB storage devices, digital still c ameras, MP3/4 players, and in automotive applications. It sells its products to original equipment manufacturers and retailers through internal sales force, independent sales representatives, and distributors, as well as through a Web-based customer direct sales channel. The company was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in Boise, Idaho.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By vinaysingh]

    It is not a rare phenomenon that a company’s financial figures rally at a rocket speed because of some favorable changes at the industry-level. Well, Micron (MU) is one such case where the company has gained well in revenue because of an increase in the overall prices of DRAM modules complemented by a reduction in industry supply because of a fire at one of the factories owned by SK Hynix. Also, the acquisition of Elpida gave the much required leverage to Micron in terms of expansion of production capacity.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Can you decide which is the bigger disaster? On the one hand, there’s the Other Woman, the new Cameron Diaz flick that’s most notable for a slow motion shot of her and a bikini-clad Kate Upton running. On the other, there’s the stock market which finished down this week after tumbles by Netflix (NFLX) and Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) outweighed big gains in Apple (AAPL), Micron Technology (MU) and Diamond Offshore (DO).

  • [By Steven Russolillo]

    Greenlight Capital lost 1.5% in the first quarter, the New York hedge fund said Tuesday. The firm said it lost money on its bets against Keurig Green Mountain Inc.(GMCR) and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.(CMG), among other wagers, while making money on Micron Technology Inc.(MU)

  • [By Rex Crum]

    With Netflix leading the way, most of the rest of the tech sector also rose. Gains came from Facebook Inc. (FB) , Pandora Media Inc. (P) , Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)  and Micron Technology Inc. (MU) .

Best Semiconductor Companies To Watch For 2015: Intel Corporation(INTC)

Intel Corporation engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of integrated circuits for computing and communications industries worldwide. It offers microprocessor products used in notebooks, netbooks, desktops, servers, workstations, storage products, embedded applications, communications products, consumer electronics devices, and handhelds. The company also provides system on chip products that integrate its core processing functionalities with other system components, such as graphics, audio, and video, onto a single chip. In addition, it offers chipset products that send data between the microprocessor and input, display, and storage devices, including keyboard, mouse, monitor, hard drive, and CD, DVD, or Blu-ray drives; motherboards designed for desktop, server, and workstation platforms, and that has connectors for attaching devices to the bus; and wired and wireless connectivity products consisting of network adapters and embedded wireless cards used to translate and transmit data across networks. Further, the company provides NAND flash memory products primarily used in portable memory storage devices, digital camera memory cards, and solid-state drives; software products comprising operating systems, middleware, and tools used to develop, run, and manage various enterprise, consumer, embedded, and handheld devices; and software development tools that enable the creation of applications. Additionally, it develops computing platforms, which are integrated hardware and software computing technologies designed to offer an optimized solution. The company sells its products principally to original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers, PC components and other products users, and other manufacturers of industrial and communications equipment. It has a strategic alliance with Scientific Conservation Inc. Intel Corporation was founded in 1968 and is based in Santa Clara, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Udovich]

    Among the recent news from chip stock Advanced Micro Devices, Inc (NYSE: AMD) was a partnership with ARM Holdings plc (NASDAQ: ARMH) that’s intended to give the company a leg up on rivals like Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) and NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA). I should point out that we previously had an open position in Advanced Micro Devices in our SmallCap Network Elite Opportunity (SCN EO) portfolio from last summer up until late January when we locked in a small loss. We bailed not because we don’t believe in the company’s potential over the long term, but because our SCN EO is a trading portfolio rather than a long term buy and hold portfolio. Moreover, AMD’s shares had sunk again after the company reported earnings – a repeat performance of what happened after three previous earnings reports. With that in mind, here is a quick look at some of the latest good news AMD is producing:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Visa have dropped 4.1% to $200.82 at 2:38 p.m., while MasterCard has fallen 4.2% to $71.25. Visa’s drop is also weighing heavily on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, thanks to its big drop, which is more than twice the size of Intel’s (INTC) 1.7% decline and Goldman Sachs’ (GS) 1.6% fall put together, and having the highest price in the price-weighted Dow. The Dow has fallen 0.8% to 16,362.27.

  • [By Muhammad Saeed]

    Semiconductor maker Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD  ) has been showing improved performance in the last few quarters. It was dominated by Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) in the past, and the declining PC industry was not helping its cause. The company’s ongoing recovery is spurred by the transition from conventional PCs to semi-customs, dense servers, and professional graphics. All of these markets allow for future growth and present AMD with an opportunity to capitalize.

  • [By Damian Illia]

    The dynamic environment and competitive market of security software manufacturing puts companies in a difficult position regarding innovation and investment. Given the decline in the PC market, and increase usage of mobile devices, Symantec is seeking to develop cloud and mobile products, and provide add new solutions and functions to their current products. However, the new product diversification positions the company in direct competition with big firms such as Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Intel Corporation (INTC)’s McAfee Inc., EMC Corporation (EMC), Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ), IBM Corp. (IBM), and VMware Inc. (VMW), among others.

Best Semiconductor Companies To Watch For 2015: Dialog Semiconductor PLC (DLG)

Dialog Semiconductor Plc creates integrated, mixed signal integrated circuits (ICs), optimized for personal portable, short-range wireless, lighting, display and automotive applications. The Company operates in three business segments: Mobile Systems, Automotive and Industrial, and Connectivity. The Mobile Systems segment includes its power management and audio chips especially designed to meet the needs of the wireless systems markets and a range of advanced driver technologies for low power display applications – from Passive Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diodes (PMOLEDs), to electronic paper and Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) displays. The Automotive and Industrial segment consists of products, which address the safety, management and control of electronic systems in cars and for industrial applications. The Connectivity segment includes activities, such as short-range wireless, digital cordless and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Corinne Gretler]

    Colruyt SA jumped the most in almost a year after reporting earnings that beat estimates. Direct Line Insurance Group Plc (DLG), the U.K.’s biggest home and motor insurer, rallied 3.8 percent after saying it will cut jobs. GSW Immobilien AG, Berlin’s largest residential landlord by market value, advanced 3.8 percent after saying both its chairman and chief executive officer will leave. Mining companies declined as metals fell.

  • [By Jonathan Morgan]

    Dialog Semiconductor Plc (DLG) surged 6.5 percent to 12.55 euros, its highest price in two months, after Apple Inc. (AAPL), the company’s biggest customer, reported fiscal third-quarter revenue and iPhone sales that beat analysts’ estimates.

  • [By Jonathan Morgan]

    Direct Line (DLG) dropped 2.5 percent to 212.6 pence. RBS sold 300 million shares at 210 pence apiece in its third sale of a stake in the insurance company, according to a statement. The bank, which is majority owned by the U.K. government, reduced its holding in Direct Line by 20 percent to 28.5 percent. RBS slipped 1.3 percent to 364.1 pence.

Best Semiconductor Companies To Watch For 2015: Aixtron SE (AIXG)

AIXTRON SE (AIXTRON), formerly AIXTRON AG, incorporated in 1983, is a provider of deposition equipment equipment to the semiconductor and compound-semiconductor industry. The Company’s technology solutions are used by a diverse range of customers worldwide to build advanced components for electronic and opto-electronic applications based on compound, silicon, or organic semiconductor materials. Such components are used in fiber optic communication systems, wireless and mobile telephony applications, optical and electronic storage devices, computing, signaling and lighting, displays, as well as a range of other technologies. AIXTRON’s business activities include developing, producing and installing equipment for coating semiconductor materials, process engineering, consulting and training, including ongoing customer support. AIXTRON supplies to customers both full production-scale complex material deposition systems and small scale systems for research and development (R&D) use and small-scale production use.

AIXTRON’s product range includes customized production and research scale compound semiconductor systems capable of depositing material films on up to 95 * two-inch diameter wafers per single production run, or smaller multiples of larger diameter wafers, employing MOCVD or Hydride Vapor Phase Epitaxy (HVPE) or organic thin film deposition on up to Gen. 3.5 substrates, including Polymer Vapor Phase Deposition (PVPD) or Organic Vapor Phase Deposition (OVPD) or large area deposition for Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) applications or Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Phase Deposition (PECVD) for depositing complex Carbon Nanostructures (Carbon Nanotubes, Nanowires or Graphene). AIXTRON also manufactures full production and research scale deposition systems for silicon semiconductor applications capable of depositing material films on wafers of up to 300 millimeters diameter, employing technologies, such as Chemical Vapor Depo sition (CVD), Atomic Vapor Deposition (AVD) and Atomic Layer! Deposition (ALD).

AIXTRON also offers a range of peripheral equipment and services, including products capable of monitoring the concentration of gases in the air and for cleaning the exhaust gas from metal organic chemical vapor deposition processes. The Company also assists its customers in designing the production layouts for the gas supply to thin film deposition systems. Additionally, the Company offers its customers training, consulting and support services.

The Company competes with Veeco Instruments Inc. (USA), Taiyo Nippon Sanso (Japan), Ulvac, Inc. (Japan), Tokki Corporation (Japan), Sumitomo (Japan), Applied Materials, Inc. (USA), Doosan DND Co., Ltd. (South Korea), Sunic System (South Korea), Tokyo Electron Ltd. (Japan), ASM International N.V. (Netherlands), IPS Technology (South Korea), Jusung Engineering Co. Ltd. (South Korea), and Hitachi Kokusai Electric Co. Inc. (Japan).

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    This series, brought to you by Yahoo! Finance, looks at which upgrades and downgrades make sense and which ones investors should act on. Today, our headlines include upgrades for both industrialist Aixtron (NASDAQ: AIXG  ) and fashionista bebe stores (NASDAQ: BEBE  ) . But the news isn’t all good, so let’s start off with a few words on…

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Aixtron SE (NASDAQ: AIXG) was downgraded to Sell from Hold at Canaccord Genuity.

    Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (NASDAQ: BWLD) was downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.

Best Semiconductor Companies To Watch For 2015: Universal Display Corp (OLED)

Universal Display Corporation, incorporated on April, 24, 1985, is engaged in the research, development and commercialization of organic light emitting diode (OLED) technologies and materials for use in flat panel display, solid state lighting and other product applications. The Company’s primary business strategy is to develop and license its OLED technologies to product manufacturers for use in these applications. Its primary business is to develop and license its OLED technologies to manufacturers of products for display applications, such as cell phones, portable media devices, tablets, laptop computers and televisions, and specialty and general lighting products; and develop new OLED materials and sell the materials to those product manufacturers. The Company sells its OLED materials to customers for evaluation and use in commercial OLED products. As of December 31, 2012, the Company owns, exclusively license or have the sole right to sublicense more than 3,000 pate nts issued and pending worldwide. On July 23, 2012, the Company entered into a Patent Sale Agreement (the Agreement) with FUJIFILM. Under the Agreement, FUJIFILM sold more than 1,200 OLED related patents and patent applications.

Phosphorescent Organic Light Emitting Diode Technologies

Phosphorescent OLEDs utilize specialized materials and device structures that allow OLEDs to emit light through a process known as phosphorescence. Traditional fluorescent OLEDs emit light through an inherently less efficient process. Theory and experiment show that phosphorescent OLEDs exhibit device efficiencies up to four times higher than those exhibited by fluorescent OLEDs. Phosphorescence substantially reduces the power requirements of an OLED and is potentially useful in displays for hand-held devices, such as Smartphone’s, where battery power is often a limiting factor. Phosphorescence is also important for area displays such as televisions, where higher de vice efficiency and lower heat generation may enable longer ! product lifetimes and increased energy efficiency.

Additional Proprietary Organic Light Emitting Diode Technologies

Additional OLED Technologies include FOLED Flexible OLEDs, Thin-Film Encapsulation, UniversalP2OLED Printable Phosphorescent OLEDs, OVJP Organic Vapor Jet Printing, OVPD Organic Vapor Phase Deposition and TOLED Transparent OLEDs. The Company is working on a number of technologies required for the fabrication of OLEDs on flexible substrates. As of December 31, 2012, it was conducting research and development on FOLED technologies internally, under several of its United States government programs and in connection with the government-sponsored Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University (ASU). The Company announced its, patented encapsulation technology for the packaging of flexible OLEDs and other thin-film devices, as well as for use as a barrier film for plastic substrates. Its approach for manufacturing a small molecule OLED, including a PHOLED, is based on a vacuum thermal evaporation (VTE) process.

The Company has partnered with Aixtron AG, which is a manufacturer of metal-organic chemical vapor deposition equipment, to develop and qualify equipment for the fabrication of OLED displays utilizing the OVPD process. It has developed a technology for the fabrication of OLEDs that have transparent cathodes. TOLEDs use a transparent cathode and either a transparent, reflective or opaque metal anode.

Organic Light Emitting Diode Materials Supply Business

The Company supplies its proprietary UniversalPHOLED materials to display manufacturers and others. The Company qualifies its materials in OLED devices before shipment in order to ensure that they meet required specifications. During 2012, the Company continued supplying its proprietary UniversalPHOLED materials to SDC for use in its commercial AMOLED display products and for its development efforts. During 2012 , the Company also supplied its UniversalPHOLED materials to! LG Displ! ay for use in its commercial AMOLED display products, to Tohoku Pioneer for use in its commercial PMOLED display products, and Konica Minolta for its manufacture of commercial OLED lighting products. During 2012, the Company also supplied its proprietary OLED materials to these and various other product manufacturers for evaluation and for purposes of development, manufacturing qualification and product testing.

The Company competes with Eastman Kodak Company (Kodak), Cambridge Display Technology, Ltd. (CDT), Sumitomo Chemical Company (Sumitomo), Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. (Idemitsu Kosan), Merck KGaA and BASF Corporation.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    The Q1 2014 earnings report for advanced materials stock GT Advanced Technologies Inc (NASDAQ: GTAT), a potential peer of stocks like Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW), UniPixel Inc (NASDAQ: UNXL) and Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED), is due out after the market closes later today. Aside from the GT Advanced Technologies earnings report, it should be said that Corning Incorporated already reported earnings on Monday, April 28 while UniPixel Inc  and Universal Display Corporation are both scheduled to release earnings after the market closes on Thursday. All of these stocks are interesting because all supply advanced materials to consumer electronics, mobile device, solar and organic light emitting diode (OLED) or light emitting diode (LED) makers.

  • [By Steve Symington]

    What: Shares of Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED  ) plunged 10% Monday following reports Samsung  (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF  ) has abandoned plans to build a next-gen OLED television manufacturing facility.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap display stock SGOCO Group Ltd (NASDAQ: SGOC) just sank 27.89% after reporting earnings, meaning its worth taking a closer look at it along with some other innovative display stocks like Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) and Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ: OLED). After all, just about every new consumer gadget along with cars and even appliances are incorporating display technology. I should also mention that we have had Corning Incorporated in our SmallCap Network Elite Opportunity (SCN EO) portfolio since early December (we are up around 29.20%) as we believe the company is in the sweet spot for next generation flexible screens and mobile wearables.

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    Have you ever noticed how small cap stocks rarely seem to dole out the huge gains investors – and the media – can’t shut up about, then once that buzz dies down, the stocks nobody cares about anymore end up going hog-wild when nobody’s looking? Yeah, well, you can add Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ:OLED) to that list of stocks the market mis-times.

Best Semiconductor Companies To Watch For 2015: Broadcom Corporation(BRCM)

Broadcom Corporation designs and develops semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. It provides a portfolio of system-on-a-chip (SoC) and software solutions for the manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices, which enable the delivery of voice, video, data, and multimedia content to the home, office, and mobile environment. Its broadband communications products include cable modem SoCs; femtocell SoCs; MPEG/AVC/VC-1 encoders and transcoders; xDSL, passive optical network, and cable modem customer premises equipment and central office solutions; powerline networking SoCs; digital cable, direct broadcast satellite, terrestrial, and Internet protocol (IP) set-top box integrated receiver demodulators; high definition television and standard definition TV SoCs; and Blu-ray disc SoCs. The company?s mobile and wireless products comprise Wi-Fi and Bluetooth SoCs, wireless connectivity com bo chips, global positioning system SoCs, multimedia processors, applications processors, power management units, VoIP SoCs, mobile TV SoCs, and near field communications tags. Its infrastructure and networking products include Ethernet copper transceivers, Ethernet controllers and switches, backplane and optical front-end physical layer devices, security processors and adapters, and broadband processors. The company markets and sells its products through direct sales force, distributors, and manufacturers? representatives in the United States, as well as through regional offices, and a network of independent distributors and representatives in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. The company was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in Irvine, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Vinay Singh]

    The only close competitor to Snapdragon 800 is NVIDIA (NVDA)’s fourth generation Tegra chips, Tegra 4i, which are expected to be launched in the beginning of next year, and Broadcom’s (BRCM) recently launched BCM21892. The Tegra 4i will be half the size of Snapdragon 800 processor and BCM21892 is currently the smallest LTE 4G enabled chip in the industry. The smaller size of the chips makes them cheaper to produce and more energy efficient. However, Qualcomm’s earlier launch of its Snapdragon 800 processor with an LTE –Advanced feature places it in an advantageous position, as there is no other competing product.

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Global semi-conductor solutions provider Broadcom (BRCM) raised its quarterly dividend 9.1% to 12 cents per share, payable on Mar. 3 to shareholder of record as of Feb. 14.
    BRCM Dividend Yield: 1.59%

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Short interest in Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM) rose 17.3% to 12.33 million shares. That is 2.2% of the total float. Broadcom is scheduled to report results on Thursday, and analysts estimate EPS at $0.57 on revenues of $2.02 billion. Both figures are below last year’s totals.

Best Semiconductor Companies To Watch For 2015: Peregrine Semiconductor Corp (PSMI)

Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation (Peregrine), incorporated in February 1990, is engaged in the design, manufacturing and marketing radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) for the aerospace and defense, broadband, industrial, mobile wireless device, test and measurement equipment, and wireless infrastructure markets. The Company is provider of RFICs. Its products include RF switches-antenna, RFswitches-broadband and general purpose, digital attenuators, synthesizers, mixers/upconverters, prescalers, variable gain amplifiers, digitally tunable capacitors, DC-DC converters and power amplifiers. Its UltraCMOS technology enables the design, manufacture, and integration of multiple radio frequency (RF), mixed signal, and digital functions on a single chip. Its solutions target a range of applications in the aerospace and defense, broadband, industrial, mobile wireless device, test and measurement equipment, and wireless infrastructure markets.

As of December 25, 2010, The Company offers a portfolio of more than 120 RFICs, including switches, digital attenuators, mixers/upconverters, and prescalers, and it is developing power amplifiers (Pas), digitally tunable capacitors (DTCs), and DC-DC converters. During the fiscal year ended December 25, 2010, its products were sold to more than 1,400 module manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), contract manufacturers, and other customers, including such companies as Amalfi Semiconductor, Inc., The Boeing Company, EPCOS AG, Ericsson AB, Hitachi Media Electronics Company, Ltd., Hitachi Metals, Ltd., Humax Co., Ltd., Itron, Inc., LG Innotek Co., Ltd., Mini-Circuits, Inc., Motorola, Inc., Murata Manufacturing Company, Ltd., Planet Technology Corp., Rockwell Collins, Inc., Rohde & Schwarz, Inc., SIPAT Co., Ltd., Skyworks Solutions, Inc., Sony Corporation, Source Photonics, Inc., and Thales Alenia Space.

RF switches-antenna

RF Switches are utilized in the RF section of mobile devices to route RF signals between! the antenna and the handset core, through one or more signal paths. For mobile handsets, its switch products offer up to 10 RF signal paths with integrated digital bus support and onboard voltage regulation.

RFswitches-broadband and general purpose

The Company’s broadband and general purpose RF switches deliver combination of broadband linearity, settling time, and isolation while routing RF signals to their respective transmit or receive paths. Its attributes are being used by the OEMs of LED and plasma digital televisions (DTVs), set top box, cable infrastructure, test and measurement devices

Digital Attenuators

The Company provides digital step attenuators that are used to control the amplitude of an RF or analog signal. The products include digital control circuitry integrated with an RF attenuator core and are used in third generation (3G) and fourth generation (4G) cellular base stations, repeaters, and point-to-p oint nodes.

Synthesizers

The Company’s frequency synthesizers provide an electronic system for generating any of a range of frequencies from a single fixed timebase or oscillator. Its synthesizers provide low-power, ultra-low phase noise, programmable frequency synthesis for defense, broadband, industrial, and wireless infrastructure markets.

Mixers/Upconverters

The Company’s mixers/upconverters are used to translate encoded voice/data signals from one frequency to another to enable radio transmission. Its mixers / upconverters are incorporated into mixer modules and provide industry linearity, which is a metric to maximizing wireless data transmission rates. These attributes are critical in 3G and 4G cellular base station designs.

Prescalers

The Company’s prescalers operate in the C, X, and Ku bands to divide the frequency of a wireless signal in order to extend the operating range of a sy nthesizer beyond its base capability. Its prescalers complem! ent its f! requency synthesizer line, providing its customers with design.

Variable Gain Amplifiers

The Company’s Variable Gain Amplifiers (VGAs) are used in both the receiving and transmitting path of a radio system to maintain a signal’s strength at a level necessary for other circuits to operate optimally. Its DVGA is the monolithic integrated circuit (IC) to integrate three functional blocks, including digital attenuators, RF/IF amplifiers and a common serial interface onto a single IC.

DC-DC Converters

The Company’s frequency-configurable DC-DC converters efficiently perform voltage conversion using a high frequency switching technique that minimizes system noise. Its DC-DC converters are designed to enable a distributed power management architecture designed for satellite applications, replacing inefficient drop out regulators and central converters.

Power Amplifiers

The Company’s PAs amplify RF sign als in order to generate the necessary power required to establish a radio link between a base station and a mobile device. With its UltraCMOS technology the Company has the ability to integrate its PAs on a single chip with other RF, mixed signal, and digital components.

The Company competes with Hittite, M/A-COM, NEC, Renesas, RFMD, Skyworks, Sony, Toshiba and TriQuint Semiconductor.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: PSMI) is a lesser known name that is a top stock to buy at Deutsche Bank. The company recently released a new radio frequency (RF) switch specifically designed for broadband cable systems. With HD content exploding, this could be a huge home run for the company. Deutsche Bank has a $14 price target for the stock, the same as the consensus target.

Best Semiconductor Companies To Watch For 2015: Intermolecular Inc (IMI)

Intermolecular, Inc. (Intermolecular), incorporated on June 16, 2004, is engaged in research and development and time-to-market for the semiconductor and clean-energy industries. The Company, through paid collaborative development programs (CDPs) with its customers, develops technology and intellectual property (IP) for its customers focused on advanced materials, processes, integration and device architectures. The Company provides its customers with technology through various fee arrangements and grants them rights to associated IP, primarily through royalty-bearing licenses. Through paid CDPs and its own development, the Company has established a portfolio of greater than 1,000 patents and patent applications. Its approach is broadly applicable to high-volume integrated device markets, which include the markets for semiconductors, flat glass coatings and glass-based devices, solar cells, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), flat-panel displays, advanced batteries and other ene rgy efficiency applications.

As of December 31, 2012, the Company targets large, high-volume semiconductor and high-growth emerging clean energy markets, including DRAM, non-volatile memory (including flash memory and embedded memory), complex logic, flat glass coatings and glass-based devices, solar cells, LEDs and other energy efficiency applications. The Company’s customers include ATMI, Inc. (ATMI), Elpida Memory, Inc. (Elpida), First Solar. Inc. (First), GLOBALFOUNDRIES Singapore Pte. Ltd (GLOBALFOUNDRIES), Guardian Industries Corp. (Guardian), SanDisk Corporation (SanDisk), Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and Toshiba Corporation (Toshiba). For the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company has received the majority of its revenue from customers in DRAM, flash memory, complex logic and energy-efficient applications in flat glass. The elements in HPC platform include Tempus HPC processing, automated characterization, and informatics and a nalysis software. Tempus HPC processing are used to process ! different experiments consisting of combinations of materials, processing parameters, sequencing and device structures. Automated characterization systems are used to characterize the substrates processed by its Tempus HPC processing tools. Informatics and analysis software are used to automate experiment generation, characterization, data analysis and reporting.

The Company’s HPC platform consists of its Tempus HPC processing tools, automated characterization and informatics and analysis software. The Company’s platform is purpose-built for Research and Development (R and D) using combinatorial process systems. Combinatorial processing is a methodology for discovery and development that employs parallel and other high-throughput experimentation, which allows R and D experimentation to be performed at speeds up to 100 times faster than traditional methods. The Company’s processing tools allows performing up to 192 experiments on a single substrate.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    Intermolecular (NASDAQ: IMI) shares touched a new 52-week low of $4.84. Intermolecular shares have dropped 45.09% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 26.39% in the same period.

  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    ARM Holdings Plc (ARM) lost 2.6 percent, leading European technology companies lower before it publishes half-year results next week. IMI Plc (IMI) gained 2 percent as Citigroup Inc. listed the engineering company among its most preferred stocks.

Best Semiconductor Companies To Watch For 2015: Applied Materials Inc.(AMAT)

Applied Materials, Inc. provides manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, flat panel display, solar photovoltaic (PV), and related industries worldwide. The company?s Silicon Systems Group segment offers a range of manufacturing equipment used to fabricate semiconductor chips or integrated circuits. This segment provides systems that perform primary processes used in chip fabrication, including atomic layer deposition, chemical vapor deposition, physical vapor deposition, electrochemical deposition, rapid thermal processing, chemical mechanical planarization, wet cleaning, and wafer metrology and inspection, as well as systems that etch or inspect circuit patterns on masks used in the photolithography process. Its Applied Global Services segment offers products and services designed to enhance the performance and productivity, and reduce the environmental impact of the fab operations of semiconductor, liquid crystal displays (LCDs), and solar P V manufacturers. The company?s Display segment provides products for manufacturing thin film transistor LCDs for televisions, personal computers (PCs), tablet PCs, smartphones, and other consumer-oriented electronic applications. Its Energy and Environmental Solutions segment offers manufacturing systems for the generation and conservation of energy, as well as manufacturing solutions for wafer-based crystalline silicon applications. This segment also provides roll-to-roll vacuum Web coating systems for deposition of a range of films on flexible substrates for functional, aesthetic, or optical properties; and roll-to-roll machine for depositing ultra-thin aluminum films for flexible packaging applications. The company serves manufacturers of semiconductor wafers and chips, flat panel LCDs, solar PV cells and modules, and other electronic devices. Applied Materials, Inc. was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Vanina Egea] ican corporation, based in Santa Clara, Calif., in the famous Silicon Valley. It provides chipmakers with the latest equipment, and tools to make state-of-the-art chips for our everyday mobile devices (processors, flash memories, computers memories, etc.) and to improve semiconductor factory efficiency. It also produces equipment for the manufacturing of flat panel displays and solar energy (solar cells and energy efficient glass) equipment.

    It has four divisions. Silicon Systems Group, handles the designs, manufacturing, and sales of equipment used to fabricate semiconductor chips. Applied Global Services maintains, services and optimizes customers’ display, semiconductors and solar fabs. The Displays division designs, manufactures and sells equipment used in flat panel display fabrication. And finally, Energy and Environmental Solutions designs, manufactures and handles the sales on equipment necessary in the fabrication of solar cells, modules and flexible electronics.

    The company provides the manufacturers it sells its equipment to with services to improve the fabrication process, helping them become more efficient.

    Advantages and Moat on AMAT

    The thing is, Applied Materials doesn’t specialize in one sector or portion of the production line like most its competitors do. The company has everything a chipmaker needs to fabricate a chip from scratch, like a Home Depot (HD) for chipmakers, competing in nearly every segment of the market. And as the chip industry continues to grow, the company continuously develops more and more complex equipment to meet the needs of a still flourishing market.

    Applied Materials should start to benefit from the adoption of new mobile devices. In the words of the company’s new CEO, Gary Dickerson (former president of Varian, a well-known chip equipment company acquired by Applied on 2012), tablets and smartphones nowadays generate more revenue than all the other semiconductors’ electronics combine

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Big Earnings Movers: Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is up 8.7% at $54.94. Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) is down 0.3% at $17.51 on a weak forecast. Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) is down 1% at $62.81. Youku Tudou Inc. (NYSE: YOKU) is up 11.2% at $29.30. InterCloud Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ICLD) is up 265.9% at $9.33 on solid results and higher hopes.