Past Performance: Broadcom (BRCM) is another chronic "under promise, over deliver" company. Broadcom has beaten EPS expectations every quarter over the past four years. No misses, no meets, just beats. BRCM enjoyed phenomenal growth on an EPS basis YOY through 2011. In 2012, EPS performance leveled off considerably.
Looking at EPS expectations for the current quarter, $0.56, versus past expectations shows that Broadcom could be looking at a downward trend in EPS in the first quarter. In the first quarter of 2011, BRCM had EPS of $0.68. In the first quarter of 2012 BRCM had EPS of $.65. If Broadcom beat EPS expectations by the average of the past three years, 18.16%, Broadcom would report earnings of $0.66 per share for the first quarter of 2013.
Fundamentals: Broadcom trades with a current P/E of 28.20, a forward P/E of 11.48, a P/S of 2.52, and a PEG of 0.84. BRCM also offers investors a 1.30% dividend. Compare Broadcom to rival Qualcomm (QCOM). QCOM trades with a current P/E of 17.38, a forward P/E of 13.46, a P/S of 5.44, and a PEG ratio of 0.98. Aside from the current P/E, Broadcom looks cheaper based on every fundamental we use.
We should also compare Broadcom to the technology sector and S&P 500 average. The technology sector trades with a current P/E of 22.1 and a forward P/E of 13.2. The S&P 500 trades with a current P/E of 20.6 and a forward P/E of 17.3. Compared to both averages the current P/E looks overpriced for Broadcom, but the forward P/E still looks cheap compared to rival Qualcomm, the technology sector as a whole, and the S&P 500 average.
The Story: Broadcom just introduced a new transmitter that seems to blow away the competition. In fact, it could easily be a game changer as the new transmitter uses 60% less power than similar devices while supporting high-capacity optical modules. In other words, as more of the market moves to mobile media the need for this exact product grows higher and higher. Broadcom may have just hit a home run in the mobile infrastructure space.
With Apple's (AAPL) newest iPhone expected out this summer, there have been as many rumors about it as there are people with opinions. One of those opinions seems to have some weight. Broadcom has an LTE chip that is second to none, and Apple needs an LTE chip to keep up with competition in the smart phone market. The marriage of the Broadcom LTE chip to the Apple smartphone would help both companies tremendously.
How To Play It: Broadcom's chart is showing overbought at the moment. If Broadcom breaks form, and does miss earnings, I would take it as a buying opportunity considering how strong the fundamentals are. With strong fundamentals, continual innovation, and superior products, Broadcom looks to be a great play for the long term. My personal 52-week price target: $39.80.
Additional disclosure: Always consult with your registered financial professional before adding a new position to your portfolio. Investing involves a significant risk of loss. As such, never invest more than you can afford to lose.