Top Analyst Sees Tech Supply Chain Stocks Beating Estimates

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Technology has rapidly expanded over the past decade, and some investors may not realize the huge impact it has had on society as a whole. This year also marks a decade since the first iPhone was released, and the impact of the smartphone on almost every facet of modern life has been huge. Cars are now stuffed with sensors and semiconductors to control much of the functions. While certain tech companies are subject to fickle consumers and trends, the companies that supply them usually are not.

In a new RBC research report from Amit Daryanani and his team, they feel that the top tech supply chain companies are poised to beat current earnings estimates for the third quarter. They raise price targets on three of their four top picks, and all are rated Outperform.

Amphenol

This top pick has remained a favorite long-term pick at RBC for some time. Amphenol Corp. (NYSE: APH) is one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and marketers of electrical, electronic and fiber optic connectors, interconnect systems, antennas, sensors and sensor-based products and coaxial and high-speed specialty cable.

Amphenol designs, manufactures and assembles its products at facilities in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa and sells its products through its own global sales force, independent representatives and a global network of electronics distributors. The company has a diversified presence as a leader in high-growth areas of the interconnect market, including: automotive, broadband communications, commercial aerospace, industrial, information technology and data communications, military, mobile devices and mobile networks.

The RBC report noted this:

We think the company can report upside to the [S]eptember quarter and guide December above consensus based on better intra-quarter industry and end market data points. We note that: 1) Autos: US sales re-accelerated in September (Hurricane Harvey benefits) while China growth also resumed and Europe remained strong, 2) server shipments reverted to growth driven by improved hyperscale/CSP datacenter capex growth, 3) Industrial growth should sustain given outlook from analog peers, 4) Military and aerospace should remain robust through year-end, and 5) Personal Compute trajectory continues to stabilize.

Shareholders receive a 0.88% dividend. RBC raised its price target on the shares to $90 from $85, and the Wall Street consensus price target is $85.45. Shares closed Friday at $87.20.

TE Connectivity

This big player in automotive technology is another company RBC expects will beat earnings and lift guidance higher. TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE: TEL) designs and manufactures products at the heart of electronic connections for the world’s leading industries including not only automotive but energy and industrial, broadband communications, consumer devices, health care and aerospace and defense. TE has a long-standing commitment to innovation and engineering excellence, which helps its customers solve the need for more energy efficiency, always-on communications and ever-increasing productivity demands.

Many on Wall Street are bullish on the stock due to the increasing electronic content in automotive, industrial, consumer and defense industries. Analysts cite the stock’s very reasonable valuation and the high growth auto sensor business helping to ramp up sales and earnings.

Investors receive a 1.82% dividend. RBC raised its $87 price target to $90. The consensus price target is $87.90. The stock closed Friday at $87.74.

Sensata Technologies

This top stock has been on a big run since August. Sensata Technologies Holding N.V. (NYSE: ST) is one of the world’s leading suppliers of sensing, electrical protection, control and power management solutions with operations and business centers in 16 countries. Sensata makes products that improve safety, efficiency and comfort for millions of people every day in automotive, appliance, aircraft, industrial, military, heavy vehicle, heating, air-conditioning and ventilation, data, telecommunications, recreational vehicle and marine applications.

RBC feels this is another stock that can surprise to the upside, and its report said this:

We think Sensata is positioned to report in-line results to slight upside versus consensus given an improved auto backdrop in September in addition to positive end market data points. While US auto sales year-to-date are down low single-digits, Hurricane Harvey will likely drive upside in US auto sales for the balance of the year. In addition, Class 8 truck orders continue to be strong and China Purchasing managers index remains stable.

The $50 RBC price target was raised to $52, which compares with the consensus target of $49.14. The shares closed Friday at $48.97.

Flextronics

This stock also is well regarded. Flextronics International Inc.(NASDAQ: FLEX) is a leading end-to-end supply chain solutions company that delivers design, engineering, manufacturing and logistics services to a range of industries and end-markets, including data networking, telecom, enterprise computing and storage, industrial, capital equipment, appliances, automation, medical, automotive, aerospace and defense, energy, mobile, computing and other electronic product categories. Flextronics is an industry leader with more than $26 billion in annualized sales.

Flextronics does annually between 6% and 8% of sales via switches, routers and infrastructure equipment with Cisco. RBC points out that the Flextronics business with Cisco is more concentrated on the networking giant’s traditional products, which may be declining at a faster rate than other parts of the business. The analysts noted this regarding the upcoming earnings:

We expect the company to achieve street expectations for September quarter though Nike ramps and investments have a potential to cause a surprise. We expect the December quarter revenue/EPS guide broadly in-line. Fundamentally, fiscal year 2018 will be a year of investments, which should pay off in ensuring a more sustainable and differentiated company over the long-term.

The RBC price target remains at $19, near the consensus target of $18.67. The stock closed trading most recently at $17.52.

Four top companies to buy, three of which could very well beat the Wall Street expectations for earnings. It may make sense to buy partial positions on the outside chance that the numbers aren’t as good as expected.