Top Semiconductor Stocks To Invest In Right Now

Despite the poor quarterly earnings performance and massive losses to technology stocks today, a few of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) components did have a very good session this afternoon. But, first, let’s take a look at how the major indexes performed. The Dow lost 4 points, or 0.03%, and now rests at 15,543, while the S&P 500 actually pulled out a win today by gaining 0.16%. The big index loser of the session, however, was the technology-heavy Nasdaq, which lost 0.66%, or 23 points.

Unlike most trading days, the key driver today was quarterly earnings. As I mentioned, the Dow’s big technology stocks all had a rough day, as Microsoft fell the most, losing 11.4%, then Hewlett-Packard, down 4.52%. IBM lost 2.25%, and Intel shed 0.88% after poor earnings from Microsoft and Advanced Micro Devices put pressure on the PC industry.

On the flip side, General Electric’s (NYSE: GE  ) quarterly report help push its shares higher by 4.61%. Although the company missed revenue estimates of $35.6 billion when it posted sales of $35.12 billion, it did beat earnings-per-share expectations of $0.35 with $0.36. And while that’s all good and great, missing on revenue and hardly beating on EPS isn’t enough to excite investors enough to drive the stock higher by more than 4.5%. So what is? The company announced that backlog orders were up $7 billion in Q2 from the $223 billion the company reported in Q1. Furthermore, CEO Jeff Immelt told analysts that “Emerging markets remain resilient, and in the U.S. we saw strong growth in orders this quarter”. He then went on to state “Europe is stabilizing but still challenged.” These comments and the backlog growth have finally made investors believe Immelt when he tells them things are improving and will be better in the future.  

Top Semiconductor Stocks To Invest In Right Now: AT & S Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik AG (AUS)

AT & S Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik AG (AT&S) is an Austria-based company that is principally engaged in the production of printed circuit boards. The Company is divided into three core business units: Mobile Devices; Automotive, and Industrial. The Company’s product assortment ranges from single- and double-sided printed circuit boards to multilayer printed circuit boards. They are used as electromechanical linking elements, mainly in the telecommunication sector, automobile industry and medical technology applications, as well as defense and aerospace. AT&S operates production sites in Austria, India, China and Korea. It also maintains international sales offices, based in Austria, Ireland, Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary and Belgium. As of March 31, 2011, the Company operated through its subsidiaries in India, Germany, Austria, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Triska Hamid]

    Professors at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) are also looking at dental care with braces imbedded with a chip that monitor the movement of the fixtures and will communicate with the dentist’s office if any of them are separated from the teeth.

Top Semiconductor Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Sunedison Inc (SUNE)

SunEdison Inc, formerly MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc., incorporated on October 1, 1984, is engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of silicon wafers. The Company is a developer and seller of photovoltaic energy solutions. Through Solar Materials and Solar Energy (SunEdison), it is a developer of solar energy projects. The Company operates in two segments: semiconductor materials and solar energy. The Company’s Solar Energy segment includes the operations of its old Solar Materials segment, as well as its SunEdison business. In the Semiconductor Materials, the Company offers wafers with a variety of features. The Company’s wafers vary in size, surface features, composition, purity levels, crystal properties and electrical properties.

Semiconductor Materials

The Company’s monocrystalline wafers for use in semiconductor applications range in size from 100 millimeter to 300 millimeter and are round in shape for semiconductor custome rs because of the nature of their processing equipment. Its wafers are used as the starting material for the manufacture of various types of semiconductor devices, including microprocessor, memory, logic and power devices. In turn, these semiconductor devices are used in computers, cellular phones and other mobile electronic devices, automobiles and other consumer and industrial products. Its monocrystalline wafers for semiconductor applications include four general categories of wafers: prime, epitaxial, test/monitor and silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers.

The Company’s prime wafer is a polished, pure wafer with an ultraflat and ultraclean surface. The Company’s epitaxial (epi), wafers consist of a thin silicon layer grown on the polished surface of the wafer. Typically, the epitaxial layer has different electrical properties from the underlying wafer. This provides customers with isolation between circuit elements than a polished wafer. Its AEGIS product is design ed for certain specialized applications requiring high resis! tivity epitaxial wafers and its MDZ product feature. The AEGIS wafer includes a thin epitaxial layer grown on a standard starting wafer. The AEGIS wafer’s thin epitaxial layer eliminates harmful defects on the surface of the wafer, thereby allowing device manufacturers to increase yields. The Company supplies test/monitor wafers to its customers for use in testing semiconductor fabrication lines and processes. An SOI wafer is a different starting material for the chip making process.

Solar Energy

The Company’s Solar Energy segment provides solar energy services that integrate the design, installation, financing, monitoring, operations and maintenance portions of the downstream solar market to provide a solar energy service to its customers. As of December 31, 2012, SunEdison interconnected over 675 solar power systems representing 989 megawatt of solar energy generating capacity. As of December 31, 2012, SunEdison had 73 megawatt of projects und er construction and 2.6 gigawatts in pipeline. In support of its downstream solar business, its Solar Energy segment manufactures polysilicon, silicon wafers and solar modules. Additionally, its Solar Energy segment will sell solar modules to third parties in the event the opportunity aligns with itsinternal needs. It provides its downstream customers with a way to purchase renewable energy by delivering solar power under long-term power purchase arrangements with customers or feed-in tariff arrangements with government entities and utilities. Its SunEdison business is dependent upon government subsidies, including United States federal incentive tax credits, state-sponsored energy credits and foreign feed-in tariffs. The Company’s solar wafers are used as the starting material for crystalline solar cells.

The Company competes with Shin-Etsu Handotai, SUMCO, Siltronic and LG Siltron, SunPower Corporation, First Solar, Inc., Enerparc, Sharp Corporation (Recurre nt Energy), Phoenix Solar, BELECTRIC, JUWI Solar Gmbh, and S! olar City! .

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Stocks rose today as jobless despite a weak GDP reading as jobless claims fell and merger mania gripped the food stocks. Shares of Tyson Foods (TSN), Hillshire Brands (HSH), Merck (MRK), Biogen Idec (BIIB), and SunEdison (SUNE) helped lead the market higher.

  • [By Aaron Levitt]

    Utility NextEra Energy (NEE) is the nation’s largest solar and wind operator and just the latest firm to announce its intention to create a YieldCo. Moody’s estimates that about 30 utilities across the globe have the ability to create a YieldCo today based on current power plant holdings. Aside from the utility space, the various solar panel producers that also own/build grid-scale operations have also expressed their intentions about starting YieldCos. These include SunPower (SPWR) and SunEdison (SUNE).

  • [By Richard Stavros]

    Although these developments bode well for the sector, there is still concern that it is overvalued. First Solar Inc (NSDQ: FSLR), SunEdison Inc (NYSE: SUNE), and even electric car company Tesla Motors Inc (NSDQ: TSLA), to name a few, have seen stellar appreciation in their stock values.

  • [By John Kell and Tess Stynes var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); p]

    SunEdison Inc.(SUNE) on Thursday said Samsung Fine Chemicals Co.(004000.SE) agreed to buy $100 million of SunEdison Semiconductor Ltd. stock concurrent with the semiconductor division’s planned initial public offering. Also under the agreement, SunEdison will buy a 35% interest in its joint venture with Samsung Fine Chemicals and contribute it to the newly public semiconductor company. SunEdison shares rose 3.1% to $21.33 premarket.

Top Semiconductor Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Camtek Ltd (CAMT)

Camtek Ltd. (Camtek), incorporated in 1987, designs, develops, manufactures and markets automated solutions dedicated for enhancing production processes and yield for the semiconductor manufacturing and packaging and the printed circuit board (PCB) and integrated circuit (IC) substrate industries. Camtek also designs, develops, manufactures and markets automated optical inspection (AOI), systems and related products. The Company’s AOI systems are used to enhance both production processes and yields for manufacturers in the semiconductor manufacturing and packaging industry and PCB and IC Substrate industry. Through the acquisition of Printar’s assets, it also engaged in developing, manufacturing, sale and marketing of direct digital material deposition systems and inks for the PCB industry, with two major fields of activity: Solder Mask and Legend. In addition, through the acquisition of Sela, it is also engaged in the development, manufacturing and marketing of automate d scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) sample preparation equipment, primarily for the semiconductor industry.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company had sold more than 2,500 AOI systems in 34 countries worldwide. The Company’s PCB customer base includes the majority of the 100 PCB manufacturers worldwide. As of December 31, 2011, it had sold over 300 Falcon systems to more than 25 semiconductor manufacturers, among them outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT), integrated device manufacturers (IDM) and wafer level packaging subcontractors, including eight out of the top 10 semiconductors companies.

Camtek’s AOI systems consist of an electro-optical assembly unit, either movable or fixed, which consists of a video camera, precision optics and illumination sources. The electro-optical unit captures the image of the inspected product; a precise, either movable or fixed table, that holds the inspected product, and an electronic hardware unit, which operates the! entire system and includes embedded components that process and analyze the captured image by using its algorithms. Its systems can also compile and communicate statistical reports of inspection findings through the customer’s factory information system. The Company offers a range of systems for automated optical inspection of semiconductor wafers, IC substrates and PCBs. These systems are used to enhance production yields and assist in controlling manufacturing processes at wafer fabrication, test and assembly houses, and PCB plants worldwide.

The Company’s Falcon systems are designed for the back end market of the semiconductor industry. The Falcon’s advanced algorithms and inspection capabilities enable its dedicated models to detect defects in the die, which, if left undetected, may cause failure. The Condor is designed to meet the current and future inspection needs of the semiconductor industry. The Condor, through algorithms and advanced hardware configuration, is designed to enhance two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) detection abilities and increased throughput. The Condor family includes models for: 3D and 2D metrology and inspection of bumped-wafer prepared for packaging in the flip-chip technology; 2D metrology and inspection of finished wafers at the end of their manufacturing process and in test houses; Post-dicing inspection of frame-mounted wafers at assembly and packaging facilities, where it adds the value of detecting dicing-related damage, and inspection and metrology of micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) and other special applications.

Condor 5LED is an AOI system designed to provide solutions to a range of requirements that are to light emitting diode (LED) semiconductor manufacturers. The LED market’s special inspection requirements are characterized by 3-6 inch wafers, each of which may contain between 100 to over 200 thousand LED devices per wafer. Typically, the wafe r is made of a translucent compound semiconductor, such as g! allium ar! senide, gallium phosphide and/or indium phosphide. The Gannet system is designed for the front end market of the semiconductor industry.

The Company’s AOI products for this industry consist of five product lines: the Phoenix, Dragon and Orion for the inspection of inner and outer layers of PCB panels and ultra-fine-line IC substrate; large area masks (LAM) dedicated for inspection of artwork; and the Pegasus for final inspection (AFI) of IC substrates and high density interconnect (HDI) panels. The Phoenix product family, introduced in November 2011, is designed to support a range of the demanding PCB and IC substrate applications, while keeping in pace with the dynamic technology changes in the industry. The Phoenix product family is enhanced with Spark – Camtek’s and detection engine providing high detection capabilities, while minimizing false calls.

Dragon systems are high-throughput, automation-ready systems for inspection of all PCB types i n a mass production environment. Dragon models are optimized for specific PCB technology ranges – from mainstream circuits of typically 100 (microns) conductor line width, up to high density substrates having 12 (microns) wide conductive lines. All Dragon models are designed to interface with automated material handling mechanisms provided by the Company or other automation suppliers. Orion systems are stand-alone AOI systems for high volume inspection of all PCB types designed to operate in inspectify mode of operation. Inspectify is a mode of operation enabling the operator to perform verification immediately after inspection on the same system, thus saving time and eliminating handling-related defects.

LAM is specially designed for main-stream LAM inspection. It offers unparalleled detection ability on LAM with down to 25 (microns) line/space width technology. The LAM incorporates advanced technology innovations to ensure the level of detection that these ma sks require at this critical production stage. Camtek offers! various ! stand-alone verification systems that enable verification of panels after inspection. The Pegasus line includes systems for automated inspection of finished IC substrates that are subsequently used in packaging of ball grid array (BGA) and Chip Scale Package (CSP) devices. The Pegasus inspects both sides of the substrate, detecting process and mechanical defects, in particular in the gold-plated areas, where the substrate will interconnect with the silicon die or the PCB, and in the solder-mask areas. Pegasus models handle substrates in strip format in magazines.

GreenJet is a SM digital printing system aimed to replace the conventional SM application lines for prototypes and high mix low volume production. The GreenJet system offers manufacturers flexible and digital SM printing technology solution. The LGP system incorporates PCB digital legend printing technologies with specially developed heat curable ink, resulting in output and system performance. Camtek h as developed the inks for both LGP and GreenJet, which involves different chemicals mixed together in order to reach the required ink characterization.

The Company competes with Rudolph Technologies Inc., KLA-Tencor Corporation, Topcon Corporation, Toray Industries, Inc., Hitachi Ltd., Nidec Tosok Corporation., FEI Company, SII Nanotechnology Japan, Carl Zeiss, Inc., Orbotech Ltd., Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Company, Lloyd-Doyle Limited, Gigavis Co. Ltd., ATI Electronics Pty Ltd., Shirai Electronics Industrial Co. Ltd., First EIE SA and MicroCraft K.K.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    In retrospect, their pullbacks come as no real surprise. Neither Voxeljet AG (NYSE:VJET) nor Camtek LTD. (NASDAQ:CAMT) saw their shares soar on any news that was meaningfully sustainable, and after the “shoot first, ask questions later” market had a chance to start asking questions, it became clear that – even with the largest of glimmers of corporate progress unveiled a few weeks ago – CAMT and VJET both had been bid up more on hype and less on substance. Meanwhile (and this could be bitterly ironic to some), a small cap play in the same 3D printing space that (1) didn’t beat the daylights out of its hype-drum, and (2) is actually much closer to bringing a revenue-bearing product to the market [per today’s news – more on that below] isn’t getting anywhere near the same attention. That company? Makism 3D Corp. (OTCBB:MDDD). The good news is, MDDD finally looks like it’s revving its engine, while Camtek and Voxeljet AG shares continue to deteriorate.

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    Investors who’ve made a point of keeping tabs on the 3D printing craze this year will know that a pair of small caps in this space – Camtek LTD (NASDAQ:CAMT) and Voxeljet AG (NYSE:VJET) – have dominated the headlines in just the past few weeks. For CAMT, the big news was the recent announcement that it would be the first 3D printer maker to develop a product that could print circuit boards. As for VJET, news that it was going to greatly expand its on-demand-printing capacity (for customers that need smaller occasional jobs but don’t want to buy a printer of their own) lit the stock up quite nicely.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Stocks on the Move: Ingersoll-Rand is down 22.2% at $55.54 after completing a spin-off of Allegion plc. Canadian National Railway Co. (NYSE: CNI) is down 48.6% at $57.78 following a 2-for-1 stock split. Camtek Ltd. (NASDAQ: CAMT) is up 38.9% at $5.71.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Shares of tech industry testing and inspection systems maker Camtek Ltd. (NASDAQ: CAMT) closed at $1.89 on November 7th, the day the company announced third-quarter earnings. It closed at $2.65 last Friday and skyrocketed to a high of $6.43 on Tuesday before dropping back to around $4.00 in Wednesday trading.

Top Semiconductor Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Celestica Inc (CLS)

Celestica Inc. (Celestica), incorporated on September 27, 1996, is a provider of supply chain solutions globally to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and service providers in the communications, consumer, computing and diversified end markets. The Company has operating network in Americas, Asia and Europe. The products and services it provides serve a range of end products, including smartphones; servers; networking, wireless and telecommunications equipment; storage devices; aerospace and defense electronics, such as in-flight entertainment and guidance systems; healthcare products; audiovisual equipment; printer supplies; peripherals; semiconductor capital equipment, and a range of industrial and green technology electronic equipment, including solar panels and inverters. In June 2011, Celestica acquired the semiconductor equipment contract manufacturing operations of Brooks Automation, Inc. In September 2012, the Company acquired D&H Manufacturing Company. D&H is a manufacturer of precision machined components and assemblies, primarily for the semiconductor capital equipment market.

Celestica offers a range of services, including design, manufacturing, engineering, order fulfillment, logistics and after-market services. The Company uses enterprise resource planning and supply chain management systems to optimize materials management from suppliers through to its customers.

Its global design services and solutions architects are focused on opportunities that span the entire product lifecycle. It also leverages its CoreSim Technology to minimize design revisions. It has developed its Green Services to help its customers comply with environmental legislation, such as those relating to the removal of hazardous substances and waste management/recycling. Its services help the customers design, prototype, introduce, manufacture, test, ship, takeback, repair, refurbish, reuse, recycle and properly dispose of end-of- life (EOL) products. Prototyping is a critical early-stage p! rocess in the development of new products. It uses technologies in the assembly and testing of the products. Its failure analysis capabilities concentrate on identifying the root cause of product failures and determining corrective actions. It has a management system that focuses on continual process improvement.

The Company competes with Benchmark Electronics, Inc., Flextronics International Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., Jabil Circuit, Inc., Plexus Corp. and Sanmina-SCI Corporation.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Celestica (NYSE: CLS  ) reported earnings on April 23. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Celestica met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Top Semiconductor Stocks To Invest In Right Now: 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 Sue Chang and Ben Eisen]

    Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT)  shares rose 3%. Analysts at Jefferies initiated the stock at a buy with a price target of $28.

  • [By Steven Russolillo]

    Applied Materials(AMAT) reported it swung to a second-quarter profit of $262 million, or 21 cents a share, from a loss of $129 million, or 11 cents a share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, AMAT earned 28 cents a share. AMAT shares gained 3.3% in extended trading.

  • [By Erin McCarthy]

    Applied Materials Inc.(AMAT) on Thursday reported a 19% jump in second-quarter sales, while swinging to a profit and posting its best operating margin in nearly three years. Applied predicted that sales in the current quarter would rise another 13% to 19% from the year-earlier period.

  • [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

Top Semiconductor Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Micropac Industries Inc (MPAD)

Micropac Industries, Inc. (Micropac), incorporated on March 3, 1969, manufactures and distributes various types of hybrid microelectronic circuits, solid state relays, power operational amplifiers, and optoelectronic components and assemblies. Micropac’s products are used as components in a range of military, space and industrial systems, including aircraft instrumentation and navigation systems, power supplies, electronic controls, computers, medical devices, and high-temperature (200o degree Celsius) products. The Company’s products are either custom (being application-specific circuits designed and manufactured to meet the particular requirements of a single customer) or standard components. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011 (fiscal 2011), its custom-designed components accounted for approximately 34% of its revenue and standard components accounted for approximately 66% of its revenue.

Micropac occupies approximately 36,000 square feet of manufacturing, engineering and office space in Garland, Texas. The Company owns 31,200 square feet of that space and leases an additional 4,800 square feet. It also sub-contracts some manufacturing to Inmobiliaria San Jose De Ciuddad Juarez S.A. DE C.V, a maquila contract manufacturer in Juarez, Mexico.

Micropac provides microelectronic and optoelectronic components and assemblies along with contract electronic manufacturing services, and offers a range of products sold to the industrial, medical, military, aerospace and space markets. The Microcircuits product line includes custom microcircuits, solid state relays, power operational amplifiers, and regulators. During fiscal 2011, microcircuits product line accounted for 51% of its revenue and the optoelectronics product line accounted for 62% of its business respectively. The Company’s core technology is the packaging and interconnects of miniature electronic components, utilizing thick film and thin film sub strates, forming microelectronics circuits. Other technologi! es include light emitting and light sensitive materials and products, including light emitting diodes and silicon phototransistors used in its optoelectronic components, and assemblies.

The Company’s basic products and technologies include custom design hybrid microelectronic circuits, solid state relays and power controllers, custom optoelectronic assemblies and components, optocouplers, light-emitting diodes, Hall-Effect devices, displays, power operational amplifiers, fiber optic components and assemblies, and high temperature (200o degree Celsius) products. Micropac’s products are primarily sold to original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) who serve major markets, which includes military/aerospace, such as aircraft instrumentation, guidance and navigations systems, control circuitry, power supplies and laser positioning; space, which include control circuitry, power monitoring and sensing, and industrial, which includes power control equipment and robot ics.

The Company’s products are marketed throughout the United States and in Western Europe. During fiscal 2011, approximately 21% of the Company’s revenue was from international customers. The Company’s major customers include contractors to the United States Government. During fiscal 2010, sales to these customers for the Department of Defense (DOD) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contracts accounted for approximately 62% of its revenues. The Company’s customers are Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Rockwell Int’l, and NASA.

The Company compete with Teledyne Industries, Inc., MS Kennedy, Honeywell, Avago and International Rectifier.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Geoff Gannon] strong>ADDvantage Technologies (AEY)

    · Solitron Devices (SODI)

    · 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 brothe rs 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 responsibili ties of a public comp

  • [By Geoff Gannon] % 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%.

    The slightly better businesses are currently more expensive in terms of price/NCAV. They have less asset-based downside protection, but they are better businesses.

    How do you quantify and qualify what is cheap enough? To me, there’s a big difference in relative cheapness in a company selling at 74% of NCAV versus one selling at 95%. I’m wondering if I’m putting too much weight on this cheapness measurement instead of acknowledging that any decent business selling at less than NCAV is cheap enough. Yet, one has to have some quantifiable idea of when something is not cheap enough anymore.

    Can you help me put this into a unified framework?

    Dan

    There’s a great post over at Oddball Stocks called: “A Stock is a Business”. Read it. Then go over to Richard Beddard’s Interactive Investor Blog. Bookmark that blog. Read it religiously. He looks at Ben Graham type stocks in the U.K. And he looks at them not just as stocks but as pieces of a business.

    Here’s what Richard said in a post called “Giving Up on Mastery of the Universe”:

    I need to know:

    1. Whether the managers have made good decisions in the past, and whether their incentives work in the interests of the owners, because those kind of managers often add value to a company.

    2. The products a company sells will still be in demand for years to come, because if they’re not then the past, which we know, does not tell us anything about the future, which we don’t.

    3. A company is financially strong enough to withstand the kinds of shocks companies typically experience bearing in mind some are more sensitive to events than others.

    4. How to judge whether the share price undervalues the company, bearing in mind the precedi ng three factors.

Top Semiconductor Stocks To Invest In Right Now: ARM Holdings PLC (ARMH)

ARM Holdings plc (ARM), incorporated on October 16, 1990, designs microprocessors, physical intellectual property (IP) and related technology and software, and sells development tools. As of December 31, 2012, the Company operated in three business segments: the Processor Division (PD), the Physical IP Division (PIPD) and the System Design Division (SDD). ARM licenses and sells its technology and products to international electronics companies, which in turn manufacture, markets and sells microprocessors, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and application-specific standard processors (ASSPs) based on ARM’s technology to systems companies for incorporation into a range of end products. It also licenses and sells development tools directly to systems companies and provides support services to its licensees, systems companies and other systems designers.

ARM processor architecture and physical IP is used in embedded microprocessor applications, i ncluding cellular phones, digital televisions, mobile computers and personal computer peripherals, smart cards and microcontrollers. ARM’s principal geographic markets are Europe, the United States and Asia Pacific. ARM’s product offering includes microprocessor Cores: RISC microprocessor cores, including specific functions, such as video and graphics IP and on-chip fabric IP; embedded software; physical IP; development tools, and support and maintenance services.

Processor Division

The PD encompasses those resources that are centered on microprocessor cores, including specific functions, such as graphics IP, fabric IP, embedded software IP and configurable digital signal processing (DSP) IP. Service revenues consist of design consulting services and revenues from support, maintenance and training.

Physical IP Division

The PIPD is focused on building blocks for translation of a circuit design into actual silicon. Durin g the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company’s total av! erage PIPD headcount was 557. ARM is a provider of physical IP components for the design and manufacture of integrated circuits, including systems-on-chip (SoCs). ARM Artisan physical IP products include embedded memory, standard cell and input/output components. Artisan physical IP also includes a limited portfolio of analog and mixed-signal products. ARM’s physical IP components are developed for a range of process geometries ranging from 20 nanometer – 250 nanometer. ARM licenses its products to customers for the design and manufacture of integrated circuits used in complex, high-volume applications, such as portable computing devices, communication systems, cellular phones, microcontrollers, consumer multimedia products, automotive electronics, personal computers and workstations and many others.

ARM’s embedded memory components include random access memories, read only memories and register files. These memories are provided in the form of a configurabl e memory compiler, which allows the customer to generate the appropriate configuration for the given application. ARM’s memory components include many configurable features, such as power-down modes, low-voltage data retention and fully static operation, as well as different transistor options to trade off performance and power. In addition, ARM’s memory components include built-in test interfaces that support the industry test methodologies and tools. ARM memory components also offer redundant storage elements.

ARM’s memory components are designed to enable the chip designer maximum flexibility to achieve the optimum power, performance, and density trade-off. ARM offers standard cell components that are optimized for high performance, high density or ultra high density. ARM logic products deliver optimal performance, power and area when building ARM Processors, Graphics, Video and Fabric IP along with general SoC subsystem implementation. ARM delivers phy sical interface for a range of DDR SDRAM (double-data rate s! ynchronou! s dynamic random-access memory) applications ranging from mission critical applications to low-power memory sub-systems. Silicon on Insulator (SOI) products is an alternative methodology to traditional semiconductor fabrication techniques.

System Design Division

The SDD is focused on the tools and models used to create and debug software and system-on-chip (SoC) designs. ARM’s software development tools help a software design engineer deliver products right the first time. Engineers use these tools in the design and deployment of code, from applications running on open operating systems right through to low-level firmware. The ARM Development Studio is a hardware components that allow the software designer to connect to a real target system and control the system for the purposes of finding errors in the software. The ARM DSTREAM unit allows the software developer to control the software running on the prototype product and examine the internal st ate of the prototype product. ARM Development Boards are ideal systems for prototyping ARM-based products. The ARM Microcontroller Development Kit supports ARM-based microcontrollers and 8051-based microcontrollers from companies, such as Analog Devices, Atmel, Freescale, Fujitsu, NXP, Samsung, Sharp, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Toshiba. The ARM Microcontroller Development Kit is used by developers who are building products and writing software using standard off-the-shelf microcontrollers.

The ARM Microprocessor Families

ARM architecture processors offers a range of performance options in the ARM7 family, ARM9 family, ARM11 family, ARM Cortex family and ARM SecurCore family. The ARM architecture gives systems designers a choice of processor cores at different performance/price points. The ARM7 offers 32-bit architecture capable of operating from 8/16-bit memory on an 8/16-bit bus through the implementation of the Thumb instruction set . The ARM9 family consists of a range of microprocessors in ! the 150-2! 50MHz range. Each processor has been designed for a specific application or function, such as an application processor for a feature phone or running a wireless fidelity (WiFi) protocol stack. The ARM9 family consists of a range of microprocessors in the 150-250 megahertz range. The ARM11 family consists of a range of microprocessors in the 300-600 megahertz range. ARM Cortex family is ARM’s family of processor cores based on version 7 of the ARM Architecture. The family is split into three series: A Series, A Series and M Series.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ashraf Eassa]

    Let’s be honest; there was no need
    Intel’s progress in tablets has been quite superb over the past several months. It now has complete control over tablets powered by Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) Windows 8.1 and has been able to enable such devices at even the $100 price point. The argument that Windows RT (powered by ARM Holdings (NASDAQ: ARMH  ) -compatible chips) would be required for such price points has now been thoroughly debunked. Bay Trail looks wildly successful on the Windows front.

  • [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 Jon C. Ogg]

    Perhaps the biggest wild card of them all is speculation that a buyer could swoop AMD up without anyone noticing. This buyout is not even really a rumor, but as Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM), ARM Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: ARMH) and others want a better way to compete against Intel, we do not view this as impossible.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading DOWN
    Shares of ARM Holdings plc (NASDAQ: ARMH) were down 6.92 percent to $42.64 after the company posted a loss in the fourth quarter.

Top Semiconductor Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd (MPI)

Malaysian Pacific Industries Berhad (MPI) is an investment holding company. The principal activities of MPI, through its subsidiaries are manufacturing, assembling, testing and sale of integrated circuits, semiconductor devices, electronic components and lead frames to customers globally. The Company’s operating geographical segments include Asia, The United States of America, and Europe. The Company’s subsidiaries include Carsem (M) Sdn Bhd, Recams Sdn Bhd, Carsem Holdings Limited, Carsem Semiconductor (Suzhou) Co., Ltd, Dynacraft Industries Sdn Bhd, Carter Realty Sdn Bhd, Carter Realty Sdn Bhd and Carsem Holdings (HK) Limited. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    Michael Page International Plc (MPI) increased 1.1 percent to 490.2 pence after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded the stock to buy from neutral, saying the recruitment firm will benefit from a pick-up in the European economy.

Top Semiconductor Stocks To Invest In Right Now: 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 jaggom]

    Micron Technology (MU) is on a roll of late due to a rise in the prices of NAND and DRAM this year. Most of the manufacturers have decided to decrease the supply, which in turn has helped memory chip makers to deliver positive results after a disappointing period in the last year.

  • [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)

Top Semiconductor Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Rood Testhouse International NV (ROO)

Rood Testhouse International NV (RoodMicrotec) is a Netherlands-based company, operating an independent and certified test house and analysis lab for opto- and microelectronics. It is a supply chain management organization engaged in partial processes essential to reliable end-products. Its core services are managing the entire process from design idea all the way to supply to the end-user, including purchasing, logistics, warehousing/logistics; securing testability and manufacturability at an early stage in the chip design process. Its activities include supply chain amangement, test and end-of-line services, failure and technology analysis, test engineering, qualifications and reliability, as well as engineering/consulting/key account project management. It has six wholly owned subsidiaries: RoodMicrotec International B.V., RoodMicrotec Holding GmbH, RoodMicrotec Beteiligungs GmbH, RoodMicrotec Nordlingen GmbH + Co. KG, RoodMicrotec Dresden GmbH and RoodMicrotec Stuttgart G mbH. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Alan Ellman]

    The day is Friday July 12, and the stock is LEAP Wireless International Inc. (LEAP), which is a takeover candidate by AT&T. In the late afternoon, the share price was near $8 per share, the July $9 call option was priced @ $0.10, and the August $9 call @ $0.40. Covered call writers could generate an initial profit (ROO) of 1% and 5%, respectively. The average daily option trading volume for this company is 1320 contracts over the last three months. It appeared to be a normal trading day until the last hour of trading when option volume went through the roof. By day’s end, 7139 contracts were traded, all but 350 were calls as traders were taking a bullish stance on this stock. I think you know what’s coming!