iPhone 7 Could Prove to Be Huge for 4 Chip Capital Equipment Stocks

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It has become a ritual that the Apple nation seemingly embraces every other year or so. The release of the new iPhone brings hordes of Apple devotees to the stores and has Wall Street analysts marveling at or downplaying the new features. With the iPhone 7 already on the drawing board, things could shift in a big way, and a new research note from Cowen suggests there could be some big winners.

Cowen points out that the release of the iPad Pro with the new ARM-based chip has implications that could point to big changes for the iPhone 7. The analysts make the case that for the iPhone 7, the only way that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) can get the performance needed, if it doesn’t shrink to 10 nanometer, is to go to more cores, which would make the chip much bigger. Taiwan Semiconductor, which is the world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry, has indicated it is planning to add significant 16 nanometer capacity in an attempt to win all the Apple business. This means there is a potential for huge capital spending next year, which could have a direct impact on four top companies.

ASML Holding N.V. (NASDAQ: ASML) engages in designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing semiconductor processing equipment used in the fabrication of integrated circuits worldwide. It provides the PAS 5500 family products that comprise wafer steppers and step-and-scan systems suitable for the i-line, krypton fluoride and argon fluoride processing of wafers. This is a lithography intensive company that Cowen sees possibly getting a direct benefit from the new chip.

ASML investors receive a small 0.7% dividend. The stock is rated Outperform at Cowen with a $104 price target. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $100.30. Shares closed Thursday at $93.17.

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Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) actually now is trading below all the moving averages, and for patient investors may be a high-quality pick. It is the global leader in precision materials engineering solutions for the semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic industries. Applied Material’s technologies help make innovations like smartphones, flat screen TVs and solar panels more affordable and accessible to consumers and businesses around the world.

The dividend yield is 2.4%. The Cowen price target for the Outperform rated stock is $21.50, and consensus target is $20.59. The stock closed Thursday at $16.79.

KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC), the world’s self-proclaimed leading provider of process control and yield management solutions, partners with customers around the world to develop state-of-the-art inspection and metrology technologies. These technologies serve the semiconductor, LED and other related nanoelectronics industries. Lam Research is buying the company in a huge $10.6 billion cash and stock deal.

KLA investors receive an outstanding 3.11% dividend. The Cowen price objective for the stock, which is rated Market Perform due to the pending purchase, is $67. The consensus target is $65.68. Share closed Thursday at $66.90.

Teradyne Inc. (NYSE: TER) is a leading supplier of automation solutions for test and industrial applications. Its Automatic Test Equipment is used to test semiconductors, wireless products, data storage and complex electronic systems, which serve consumer, communications, industrial and government customers. The company’s Industrial Automation solutions include collaborative robots used by global manufacturing and light industrial customers to improve quality and increase manufacturing efficiency.

Teradyne is also rated Outperform, and investors receive a 1.2% dividend. The Cowen price target is $23, and the consensus target is $22.81. The stock closed Thursday at $20.55.

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It is very important to note, and Cowen specifically states, that this is by no means a done deal. Apple could go any number of directions for the iPhone 7, and there is no guarantee that this will be it. But due to technology changes and chip innovations, it is a possibility for aggressive technology investors to consider.