The Internet of Things, or IoT — just the sheer sound of it seems so grand that many investors are confused. The fact of the matter is from the Apple Watch to home connectivity to shut the garage door and turn off the lights from a distance, even to booking travel online, our world is changing fast and the IoT is at the heart of this new change.
A new and very in-depth research report from Stifel takes a look at all the semiconductor companies involved in this revolution. The analysts also handicap which companies have the most across-the-board attributes to become bigger players in this life-changing technology arena. We screened the data for the four that have the ability to be among the leaders.
This stock shows up well as it has reasonable expertise in all the Stifel categories. Atmel Corp. (NASDAQ: ATML) is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of microcontrollers, capacitive touch solutions, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and radio frequency (RF) components. Leveraging one of the industry’s broadest intellectual property (IP) technology portfolios, Atmel is able to provide the electronics industry with intelligent and connected solutions focused on the industrial, automotive, consumer, communications and computing markets.
The Stifel analysts like the company’s big presence in the overall microcontroller market. They also believe the company will be a very important IoT player due to the company’s leadership in sensors and the concept of “sensor hub.” They also believe Atmel possesses key intellectual property in memory, security and analog technologies.
Atmel investors are paid a 1.9% dividend. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target for the stock is $9.11. Shares closed Wednesday at $8.85.
This company is a leader in industrial IoT products. Linear Technology Corp. (NASDAQ: LLTC) produces power management, data conversion, signal conditioning, RF and interface integrated circuits (ICs), as well as µModule subsystems and wireless sensor network products.
The Stifel team thinks that industrial will be one of the fastest growing markets for IoT. In fact, they see IoT finding applications in all major markets including automotive, communications, computing, consumer, medical and industrial. Industrial happens to fall into Linear Technology’s focused end markets strategies.
Linear Technology investors are paid a 2.6% dividend. The consensus price target is $46.94, which is below the most recent closing price of $47.73 per share.
This company may be one of the top plays for chip IoT exposure. NXP Semiconductors N.V.’s (NASDAQ: NXPI) recent merger with Freescale Semiconductor was widely applauded on Wall Street, and many analyst believe the merger can transform the company into a powerhouse, making it the fourth largest semiconductor company in the industry.
It is also important to note that the combined company would be the number one supplier in both auto semiconductors and global microcontrollers, as well as a dominant supplier in mobile payments and a leading Internet of Things supplier.
The Stifel team notes that as a leading supplier in microcontrollers, and with the company’s high performance wireless connectivity peripherals and software development tools for IoT apps, it can be a key player in the arena for a long time.
The consensus price target for the stock is $115.54, and shares closed Wednesday at $110.71.
This is an old-school chip tech company that could be very well set for IoT participation. Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) looks like the winner in the charging chipset solution that goes on the receive side of the new Galaxy GS6 phone, while another company has won the transmit-side. The wireless charging solution is a good example of the company’s overall broad product portfolio.
The Stifel team point to the company’s outstanding intellectual property in all the IoT segment areas and its wide distribution channels. They question whether the old chip giant with the main corporate focus on analog and embedded processing technologies will make the move to embrace IoT technology and opportunity. If it does, that could be big.
Texas Instrument investors are paid a solid 2.5% dividend. The consensus price target is set at $57.29. The stock closed Wednesday at $55.97 a share.
It is not a question of if, but when, for all the IoT technology and applications that will be made available in the coming years. One thing is for sure, the companies that focus on the opportunities should reward shareholders down the line.