Anybody closely following the action in the tech-heavy Nasdaq exchange last week will probably have noticed that a number of Apple (AAPL) suppliers have been heading south in sympathy with their client. These names include Corning (GLW), Cirrus (CRUS), and Qualcomm (QCOM).
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I think all three companies have been unfairly punished, and investors should buy them on any pullback.
Financials of the Three Companies
Quarterly Revenue Growth
Quarterly Earnings Growth
* Dec. 31, 2013; ** Sept. 25, 2013; *** March 15, 2013
Source: Yahoo Finance.
Corning makes Gorilla Glass that has grown to become a necessity in touchscreen devices, including devices powered by Google (GOOG). This is not your everyday windowpane; this glass is made of alkali-aluminosilicate thin-sheet glass. This means that it is almost unscratchable and more than tough enough to handle daily wear and tear. Apple uses this glass for its iPhone and iPad. As per CNBC, "Over 200 million devices with Gorilla Glass have [been] sold, and after just three years on the market it has 20% of the phone market." As the smartphone and tablet industries expand further, Corning should reap the rewards.
Why it's been unfairly punished: Corning is a large company making a bunch of other products that face pricing pressures, such as flat glass used in flat panel TVs, which can explain the sharp slowdown in its quarterly revenue and earnings growth. However, this may change soon as the world economy rebounds.
Qualcomm is an innovator and leader in CDMA-based integrated circuits, radio frequency (RF) and power management (PM) chips, and system software that powers mobile devices and wireless networks. The company is in a better position to ride the exploding market for mobile devices than its closest competitor, Texas Instruments (TXN).
Why it's been unfairly punished: Last quarter, the company reported that it couldn't make enough chips that go into Apple's latest products, like the LTE chip. An Apple slowdown will just balance demand and supply. Besides, Qualcomm is a supplier of chips to almost every smartphone maker -- Samsung reported robust sales on Friday. Qualcomm maintains its leadership in wireless communications, which is still an emerging industry. Wireless Intelligence estimates that the number of 3G users will reach 2.8 billion by 2014. Qualcomm is expected to be the main beneficiary of the wireless communication upgrade cycle. The GSM Association expects telecom providers to spend $100 billion by 2015 on high-speed packet access (HSPA), 3G, and 4G.
Cirrus Logic, Inc. is a developer and manufacturer of high-precision analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICS) for the audio and energy industries. A number of the company's digital products -- such as interface ICs, volume controls, and digital amplifiers -- are used in the consumer electronics industries, while its audio products are used in portable media players, smartphones, and tablets. Cirrus is the only supplier for audio codecs in "iDevices," the 35 million iPhones and 11.8 million iPads that propel Apple's sales. Today, 70% of Cirrus' revenues come from sales to Apple -- double the 2007 level.
Why it's been unfairly punished: The company enjoys strong fundamentals and reported robust earnings on Friday. That's why the stock recovered nicely (see the above chart).