If there is one sector that continues to get dog-piled by bearish analysts and strategists, it is the semiconductors, and the concern is not without some merit. The PHLX Semiconductor Sector Index (SOX) is up 16% since the beginning of the year and a stunning 64% since May of 2016. Any way you cut it, that a huge move, and that’s the kind of parabolic lift that gets the bears revved up and the negativity flowing.
A new Deutsche Bank research report makes the case that the semiconductor vendors themselves are very positive about demand, pricing, cost and capacity, which are always the four major areas of concern in what is a highly cyclical arena. The analyst is especially bullish on what the auto sector adds to the chip stocks.
The Deutsche Bank report said this:
A promising area of semiconductor growth, the Automotive end-market(~10-15% of semiconductor industry revenues per SIA and Deutsche Bank estimates) has outgrown the semi industry by an average of roughly +7 percentage points since 2013, a trend that we see continuing directionally in 2017 with roughly +5 percentage points of outperformance.
Deutsche Bank favors five Buy-rated stocks now, and here we cover the four that are primarily traded in U.S. dollars.
This leader in semiconductors is working hard to scale away from dependence on personal computers, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is a big part of the shift. Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) designs, manufactures and sells integrated digital technology platforms worldwide. The company’s platforms are used in various computing applications comprising notebooks, two-in-one systems, desktops, servers, tablets, smartphones, wireless and wired connectivity products, wearables, retail devices and manufacturing devices, as well as for retail, transportation, industrial, buildings, home use and other market segments.
Earlier this year, Intel announced the purchase of Mobileye for $15.3 billion. The Israel sensor company gives the chip giant a leg up in the autonomous car competition, and it also adds many other capabilities. This is a big IoT segment going forward.
Autonomous driving could prove to be huge, and the analysts noted this in the report:
Intel expects the computing total addressable market (TAM) in Autos to significantly outpace vehicle unit TAM. By Intel’s estimates, autonomous cars will demand 10x increase in compute throughput, a 1,000x increase in pixels and 1,000x increase in storage between 2017 and 2030. In dollar terms, that translates to in-car TAM (systems, data and services) of $70 billion and another $40 billion of TAM for autonomous driving-related data center spending.
Intel investors are paid a solid 3.07% dividend. The Deutsche Bank price target for the stock is $43, and the Wall Street consensus price objective is $39.90. The stock closed Monday at $35.63 per share.
Maxim Integrated Products
This company supplies chips to Samsung for the Galaxy line. Maxim Integrated Products Inc. (NASDAQ: MXIM) designs, develops, manufactures and markets various linear and mixed-signal integrated circuits worldwide. The company also provides a range of high-frequency process technologies and capabilities for use in custom designs. It primarily serves automotive, communications and data center, computing, consumer and industrial markets.
The Deutsche Bank reported noted:
Regardless of which processor wins supremacy in Automotive, Maxim stands poised to benefit with its Power Management and SERDES content as autonomous cars require leading power efficiency and data distribution. Moreover, the company should see a linear benefit with additional content needed for greater levels of autonomous-driving features in future generations of automobiles.
Shareholders are paid a 2.82% dividend. Deutsche Bank has a $50 price objective for the shares, and the posted consensus target price is $47.74. The shares closed on Monday at $46.82 apiece.