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Do you like to follow the buying trends of smart money investors? We ran a screen to find semiconductor stocks currently in favor by hedge fund managers.

We began by screening the semiconductor industry for stocks that are rallying above their 20-day, 50-day, and 200-day moving averages, indicating that these stocks have strong upward momentum.

We then screened for those with bullish sentiment from institutional investors, with significant net institutional purchases over the last quarter representing at least 5% of share float. This indicates that institutional investors such as hedge fund managers and mutual fund managers expect these names to outperform into the future.

For an interactive version of this chart, click on the image below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.

Do you think hedge funds are calling it right on these names? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

List sorted by net institutional purchases as a percent of share float.

1. Monolithic Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:MPWR): Designs, develops, manufactures, and markets analog and mixed-signal semiconductors. Market cap at $779.5M, most recent closing price at $21.97.

Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 3.2M shares, which represents about 10.2% of the company's float of 31.36M shares.

The stock is currently trading 6.35% above its 20-day moving average, 13.3% above its 50-day moving average, and 12.61% above its 200-day moving average. As of September 30th, 2012, the top 2 holders of the stock are FMR, LLC (14.85%), and Frontier Capital Management (6%).

2. NXP Semiconductors NV (NASDAQ:NXPI): Provides mixed signal solutions and semiconductor components primarily in Japan, Europe, South Korea, Rest of Asia Pacific, and the Americas. Market cap at $6.34B, most recent closing price at $25.39.

Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 6.8M shares, which represents about 9.41% of the company's float of 72.30M shares.

The stock is currently trading 7.22% above its 20-day moving average, 8% above its 50-day moving average, and 9.92% above its 200-day moving average. As of September 29th, 2012, the top 2 holders of the stock are KKR L.P (16%), and FMR, LLC (13.23%)

3. First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR): Manufactures and sells solar modules using a thin-film semiconductor technology. Market cap at $2.79B, most recent closing price at $32.03.

Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 5.1M shares, which represents about 8.47% of the company's float of 60.22M shares.

The stock is currently trading 12.89% above its 20-day moving average, 26.38% above its 50-day moving average, and 53.84% above its 200-day moving average. As of September 29th, 2012, the top 2 holders of the stock are Morgan Stanley (7.9%), and T. Rowe Price (7.25%).

*Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: Hedge Funds Love These 3 Outperforming Semiconductor Stocks