Technology

Jefferies Says Buy These 5 Chip Stocks on Any Earnings Weakness

When MicroChip Technology reported weak earnings and called for a broad industry correction last week, that was all it took to get the chip selling started, and it came in full force. With expectations at their lowest levels in perhaps two years, the analysts at Jefferies expect added volatility this earnings season and suggest that investors use weakness as a solid opportunity to add to, or initiate positions in their top stocks to buy. The bottom line, the cheaper the top stocks get, the more attractive they are going forward.

The Jefferies team highlighted five specific stocks rated Buy to target on weakness, some of which are already encountering market pressure and selling, and they may be potential stocks to buy now.

Intel Corp.‘s (NASDAQ: INTC) new commitment to smartphone and mobile applications, combined with the resurgence of PC growth this year, has made it one of the best large-cap value stocks to buy. Intel trades at 15 times forward earnings, more than in recent years, but still a reasonable multiple for investors looking for growth. The Jefferies analysts think the company will beat earnings estimates and could raise forward guidance. They agree that the PC cycle and cloud data center growth are key factors for optimism.

Intel shareholders are paid a solid 2.8% dividend. Jefferies has a huge $45 price target on the stock, while the Thomson/First Call consensus target is $34.31. Intel closed Tuesday at $32.14 a share.

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Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM) has often thought to be skewed more to Samsung for earnings, but the company is expected to be the supplier for a Wi-Fi/BT/GPS chip for the Apple Watch that is similar to the one it provided for the iPhone 5s. The stock has had a fantastic run this year, still up over 25% despite the recent downdraft. Strong sales to Apple could keep the company on the upward trajectory. While the Jefferies analysts are expecting in-line earnings, they expect growth to resume as the company exits the baseband business.

Broadcom investors are paid a 1.3% dividend. Jefferies has a strong $51 price objective. The consensus price target is $43.26. Shares ended trading on Tuesday at $35.41.

NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) recently announced that it remains the world’s number one supplier for small-signal discretes. The Jefferies team thinks that this top chip company will supply the near field communications (NFC) module and secure element NFC booster chip for the new Apple products. NFC is a set of standards for smartphones and other devices like the Apple Watch to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity, usually no more than a few centimeters. The Jefferies team thinks that the company will report solid earnings and have a very positive outlook on future Apple business and strength in China.

The Jefferies price target for NXP is set at $80, and the consensus target is $75.45. The stock closed on Tuesday at $56.58. That is down from the mid $70s less than a month ago.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) remains a top name to buy at Jefferies, and it may offer investors big upside. Last week’s surprise announcement that the company was changing CEOs rattled investors, and they took it out in full force selling the stock. This is another one of the stocks that the Jefferies team thinks could benefit from a rebound in PC sales and new design wins. They also feel that expectations for the stock are so low that further downside is somewhat mitigated.

The Jefferies price target is $6, and the consensus is at $3.91. AMD closed Tuesday at $2.62. Trading to the Jefferies target would be a gigantic 100%+ gain.

Maxim Integrated Products Inc. (NASDAQ: MXIM) is expected to provide the chip that handles power management in the Apple Watch. The company got hit hard after poor second-quarter earnings and lowering expectations for the third quarter. Jefferies analysts feel that continued growth in the industrial and automotive sectors combined, with mobile design wins, could be positive catalysts for the stock.

Maxim shareholders are paid an outstanding 4.25% dividend. The Jefferies price objective is $36, with the consensus target at $32.21. Shares closed trading on Tuesday at $25.98.

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Since there is no guarantee that the current round of selling in the market has been concluded, investors may want to buy partial position now and see if there are not a further shake-out in these stocks.