Top 10 Semiconductor Companies To Buy For 2015


It still looks like nothing but a Ford Mustang, but when you see it next to its predecessor, the 2015 Ford Mustang (on the right) looks quite a bit different. It’s different under the skin, too. Photo by John Rosevear

Ford’s  (NYSE: F  ) all-new 2015 Mustang is the first Mustang to be designed from the start as a global model. Unlike past Mustangs, this one will be sold in markets all over the world. 

That’s a big change. To emphasize that point, Ford unveiled its new pony in a series of events all over the world. In six different cities on four continents, Ford hosted events featuring members of the Mustang’s design team along with senior executives, giving analysts and media members an up-close look at the new Mustang and the thinking that went into its design. 


Our “Motor Money” team of Rex Moore and John Rosevear were front and center at Ford’s New York event to take a close look and share their impressions of this all-new global Mustang. So what’s the verdict? Long story short, it’s still very much a Mustang. It hasn’t been watered down at all for its new global audience, and even though it’s now part of Ford’s global product plan, it still has a unique and special status.

Top 10 Semiconductor Companies To Buy For 2015: Xilinx Inc (XLNX)

Xilinx, Inc. (Xilinx), incorporated on February 5, 1984, designs, develops and markets programmable platforms. These programmable platforms have a number of components, including integrated circuits (ICs) in the form of programmable logic devices (PLDs), including Extensible Processing Platforms (EPPs); software design tools to program the PLDs; targeted reference designs; printed circuit boards, and intellectual property (IP), which consists of Xilinx and various third-party verification and IP cores. In addition to its programmable platforms, Xilinx provides design services, customer training, field engineering and technical support. The Company’s PLDs include field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), complex programmable logic devices (CPLDs) that its customers program to perform logic functions, and EPPs. Xilinx’s products are offered to electronic equipment manufacturers in end markets, such as wired and wireless communications, industrial, scientific and medical, a erospace and defense, audio, video and broadcast, consumer, automotive and data processing. The Company sells its products globally through independent domestic and foreign distributors and through direct sales to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) by a network of independent sales representative firms and by a direct sales management organization. In January 2011, the Company acquired AutoESL Design Technologies, Inc. In August 2012, the Company acquired embedded Linux solutions provider PetaLogix.


Product Families

The 7 series devices that comprise the Company’s 28-nanometer (nm) product families are fabricated on a high-K metal gate 28-nm process technology. These devices are based on an architecture, which enables design and IP portability and re-use across all families, as well as provides designers the ability to achieve the appropriate combination of I/O support, performance, feature quantities, packaging and power consumption to addr ess a range of applications. The 7 series devices consist of! three families: Virtex-7 FPGA, Kintex-7 FPGAs and Artix-7 FPGAs. The Zynq-7000 family is the family of Xilinx EPPs. The Virtex-6 FPGA family consists of 13 devices and is the sixth generation in the Virtex series of FPGAs.


Virtex-6 FPGAs are fabricated on a high-performance, 40-nm process technology. There are three Virtex-6 families: Virtex-6 LXT FPGAs, Virtex-6 SXT FPGAs and Virtex-6 HXT FPGAs. The Spartan-6 family is the PLD industry’s 45-nm high-volume FPGA family, consisting of 11 devices in two product families: Spartan-6 LX FPGAs and Spartan-6 LXT FPGAs. The Virtex-5 FPGA family consists of 26 devices in five product families: Virtex-5 LX FPGAs for logic-intensive designs, Virtex-5 LXT FPGAs for high-performance logic with serial connectivity, Virtex-5 SXT FPGAs for high-performance DSP with serial connectivity, Virtex-5 FXT FPGAs for embedded processing with serial connectivity and Virtex-5 TXT FPGAs for high-bandwidth serial connectivity. Prior gene ration Virtex families include Virtex-4, Virtex-II Pro, Virtex-II, Virtex-E and the original Virtex family. Spartan family FPGAs include 90-nm Spartan-3 FPGAs, the Spartan-3E family and the Spartan-3A family. Prior generation Spartan families include Spartan-IIE, Spartan-II, Spartan XL and the original Spartan family.


Design Platforms and Services

The Company offers three types of programmable platforms. The Base Platform is the delivery vehicle for all of its new silicon offerings used to develop and run customer-specific software applications and hardware designs. The Base Platform consists of FPGA silicon; Integrated Software Environment (ISE) Design Suite design environment; integration support of optional third-party synthesis, simulation, and signal integrity tools; reference designs; development boards and IP. The Domain-Specific Platform targets one of the three primary Xilinx FPGA user profiles: the embedded processing developer; the DSP developer; or the logic/connectivity developer. The Market-S! pecific P! latform enables software or hardware developers to build and run their specific application or solution. Built for specific markets, such as automotive, consumer, aerospace and defense, communications, audio, video and broadcast, industrial, or scientific and medical, the Market-Specific Platform integrates both the Base and Domain-Specific Platforms.


During April 2012, Xilinx introduced the Vivado Design Suite. Vivado supports Xilinx 7 series FPGAs and Zynq EPPs. Xilinx and various third parties offer hundreds of no charge and fee-bearing IP core licenses covering Ethernet, memory controllers Interlaken and PCIe interface, as well as domain-specific IP in the areas of embedded, DSP and connectivity, and market-specific IP cores. The Company also offers development kits, including hardware, design tools, IP and reference designs. Xilinx offers a range of configuration products, including one-time programmable and in-system programmable storage devices to config ure Xilinx FPGAs. These programmable read-only memory (PROM) products support all of the Company’s FPGA devices. Xilinx and certain third parties have developed and offer a ecosystem of IP, boards, tools, services and support through the Xilinx alliance program. Xilinx also works with these third parties to promote its programmable platforms through third-party tools, IP, software, boards and design services. Xilinx engineering services provide customers with engineering, ranging from hands-on training to full design creation and implementation.


The Company competes with Altera Corporation, Lattice Semiconductor Corporation and Microsemi Corporation.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tom Rojas and Maria Armental var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]

    Xilinx Inc.(XLNX) reported that revenue rose 5.8% in its fiscal first quarter, but it missed expectations as the chip maker was hit by weaker-than-anticipated sales in its defense and wireless businesses. Shares fell 13% to $41.90 premarket.

  • [By Matt Egan]

    It’s also been an ugly day for chip maker Xilinx (XLNX). The company’s shares plummeted 16% on disappointing revenue and a gloomy outlook for the current quarter.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Xilinx (NASDAQ: XLNX) fell 12.15% to $42.30 in pre-market trading after the company reported downbeat Q1 revenue and issued a weak Q2 revenue forecast. BMO Capital downgraded Xilinx from Outperform to Market Perform and lowered the price target from $60.00 to $42.00.

Top 10 Semiconductor Companies To Buy 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 Ashraf Eassa]

    No. 2: Broadcom
    As I wrote previously, approximately 28.3% of Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM  ) ‘s mobile and wireless business comes from the sale of chips to Apple. These are generally connectivity combo chips, though Broadcom also supplies touch controllers into Apple’s iDevices, according to numerous iFixit teardowns.

  • [By ovenerio]

    The company has a current ROE of 14.21% which is higher than the ones exhibited by Micron Technology (MU) and Broadcom Corp (BRCM). In general, analysts consider ROE ratios in the 15-20% range as representing attractive levels for investment. So for investors looking those levels or more, Texas Instruments and Avago Technologies Ltd (AVGO) could be the options. It is very important to understand this metric before investing, and it is important to look at the trend in ROE over time.

  • [By mitu77]

    The IoT, will certainly creates new openings for various equipment manufacturers and many companies are joining this IoT bandwagon to leverage growth in future. Broadcom (BRCM), is a global innovation leader in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications.

  • [By Iampat]

    Shares of Broadcom (BRCM) have been controlling higher following the time when the organization reported that it would strip itself of its cellular baseband program. One worry that keeps on looming over the organization is extensive danger to its low-end integration business. Then again, on the off chance that we work through the math here, it’s really clear that Broadcom is making the “right” exchange off here.

Top 10 Semiconductor Companies To Buy 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.

Top 10 Semiconductor Companies To Buy For 2015: GigOptix Inc (GIG)


GigOptix, Inc. (GigOptix), incorporated on March 2008, is a supplier of semiconductor and electro-optical component products that enables high-speed end to end data streaming over optical fiber and wireless telecommunications and data-communications networks globally. The Company’s products convert signals between electrical and optical formats for transmitting and receiving data over fiber optic networks and between electrical and high speed radio frequencies to enable the transmission and receipt of data over wireless networks. The Company is creating both optical telecommunications and data-communications applications for fast growing markets in 10 giga bytes per second (Gbps), 40Gbps and 100Gbps drivers, receiver integrated circuits (IC), electro-optic modulator components and multi-chip-modules (MCM), as well as E-band wireless data-communications applications for high speed mobile backhaul and other high capacity wireless data transport applications. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company shipped over 150 products to over 200 customers.


The Company offers a portfolio of 10Gbps and 40Gbps electro-optical products and is developing market for 100Gbps products. The Company provides bundled solutions that consist of a few of its products, such as modulator and driver. The Company also offers a comprehensive portfolio of Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) and application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) products to support E-band wireless communication and defense markets. The Company has also developed 10Gbps vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) drivers and receivers for aerospace as well as outdoor, non-temperature controlled environments that enables higher capacity in its customers’ next generation flight and data center systems.


The Company has a portfolio of products for telecommunications , data-communications, defenses and industrial applications designed for optical sp eeds from 3Gbps to over 100Gbps and for wireless frequencies! from zero giga hertz (GHz) to 86GHz. The Company’s products support a range of data rates, protocols, transmission distances and industry standards.

The Company’s portfolio consists of the product ranges, such as laser and modulator drivers for 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps applications; receiver amplifiers or Trans-impedance Amplifiers (TIAs) for 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps applications; VCSEL driver and receiver chipsets for 14 and 12 channel parallel optics applications from 3Gbps to 10Gbps; Electro-optic modulators based on the Company’s TFPS technology suitable for various 40Gbps and 100Gbps modulation schemes, such as differential phase shift keying (DPSK), differential quadrature phase shift keying (DQPSK), RZ-DQPSK and DP-QPSK; wideband monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) amplifiers with flat gain response; high frequency MMIC Power Amplifiers with high gain and output power; high frequency passive attenuators and filters in small form factors, a nd standard cell, and structured ASIC and hybrid ASIC designs and manufacturing service for multiple markets offering information technology acquisition review (ITAR) compliance for defense applications. The Company designs and market products that amplifies electrical signals during both the transmission (amplifiers and optical drivers) and reception (TIAs) of optical signals as well as modulate optical signals in the transmission of data.


The Company’s optical drivers amplify the input digital data stream that is used to modulate laser light either by direct modulation of the laser or by use of an external modulator that acts as a precise shutter to switch on and off light to create the optical data stream. The Company supplies an optimized component for each type of laser, modulator and photo-diode depending upon the speed, reach and required cost. The Company’s microwave and millimeter wave amplifiers amplify small signal radio signals into more signals tha t can be transmitted over long distances to establish high t! hroughput! data connections or enable radar based applications. The Company’s ASIC solutions are used in a number of applications such as defense and test and measurement applications to enable the high speed processing of complex signals.


The Company’s product portfolio is designed to cover the range of solutions needed in these different modules. The Company’s product portfolio consists of five product lines: GX Series, which includes serial drivers and TIA ICs devices for telecom and data-com markets; HX Series, which includes multi-channel driver and TIA ICs for short reach data-com and optical interconnect applications; LX Series, which includes TFPS modulators for high speed telecom and defense applications; EX Series, which includes amplifiers, filters and attenuators for microwave applications in defense and instrumentation, and CX Series, which includes family of ASIC solutions for custom integrated circuit design.


GX Series

The GigOpti x GX Series of products services both the telecom and data-com markets with a broad portfolio of drivers and transimpedence amplifiers that address 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps speeds over distances that range from 100 meters to 10,000 kilometers. The GX Series devices are used in FiberChannel, Ethernet, synchronous optical networking (SONET)/ synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) components and those based upon the optical internetworking forum (OIF) standards.

HX Series

The GigOptix HX Series of products service the high performance computing (HPC), data-com and consumer markets with a portfolio of parallel VCSEL drivers and TIAs that address 3Gbps, 5Gbps,10Gbps, 14Gbps, 16Gbps and 25Gbps channel speeds over 100-300 meters distances in four and 12 channel configurations. The HX Series devices are used in HPC formats, Infiniband, Ethernet and optical high definition multimedia interface (HDMI) components.


LX Series

The GigOpti x LX Series of products service the 40Gbps and above telecom! market f! or Mach-Zehnder modulators. The LX Series devices are based on the Company’s TFPS EO material technology.

EX Series

The GigOptix EX Series of products leverages the high performance products acquired in the Endwave acquisition. In addition, it also includes the die and design techniques developed for the GX Series telecom and data-com drivers for related defense and instrumentation applications.

CX Series


The GigOptix CX Series of products offers a portfolio of distinct paths to digital and analog mixed signal ASICs with the capability of supporting designs of up to 10M gates in technologies ranging from 0.6 through 65nm. The CX Series uses the Company’s technology in Structured and Hybrid ASICs to enable a generic ASIC solution that can be customized for a customer using only a few metal mask layers. The CX Series also offers ASIC services, including Analog and Mixed Signal IP into designs and taking customers designs from RTL or gate-level net list definitions to volume production with third party foundries.


The Company competes with TriQuint, Rohm, InPhi, Centellax, Semtech, Vitesse, M/A-Com, Avago, Emcore, Tyco Electronics, IPtronics. Avago, Emcore, Tyco Electronics, JDSU, Oclaro, Sumitomo, Fujitsu, Emcore, Oclaro, Hittite, Sumitomo, Hittite, RFMD, Northrop Grumman, On -Semiconductor, eSilicon, Open Silicon, Faraday, Toshiba and eASIC.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By maarnio]

    Lightwave Logic’s main competitor is GigOptix (GIG). GigOptix has designed and patented potentially commercially feasible electro-optic polymers and holds an exclusive license to all electro-optic polymeric technology developed at the University of Washington.

  • [By Bryan Murphy]

    It’s admittedly overbought and due for a slight dip thanks to today’s surge. But when you take a step back and look at GigOptix Inc. (NYSEMKT:GIG), there’s actually a lot to be excited about if you’ve been mulling a trading in GIG. The trick will be getting the timing right.

Top 10 Semiconductor Companies To Buy 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.