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Isn’t it nice to be able to connect to the Internet without having to plug in any devices? Now you can take your laptops, iPads and Kindles anywhere you go, thanks to wireless technology. It is such a comfort to know that your odds of getting lost decrease significantly, because you are now able to find practically any address to anywhere you need to go; thanks to the GPS system for your car.

Of course the advanced technological systems used by the U.S. Military have helped to create more efficient homeland security to keep our country safe. All of these high tech items have really helped changed our world for the better. Chances are Altera Corporation (NASDAQ:ALTR), our newest stock pick, has had something to do to develop such advanced technology in the sectors of industry that I previously mentioned.

Altera adds another member of the high tech family to our portfolio. It is a producer of semiconductors, with operations throughout the world. It was also the first company to offer a reprogrammable logic machine, back in 1984. Semiconductors are items used

What is a semiconductor? It’s the main ingredient used in all electronic instruments, which covers a lot of ground. The semiconductor essentially transmits electricity so you can “flip the switch” to turn on anything electric.

This is the kind of high tech company that gives me confidence. The company invests 14% of its profits go into research and development. This gives them a decided advantage in keeping up with an ever changing High Tech industry.

Altera was founded in 1983, when the semiconductor industry was very different than it is now. It combines the programmable logic technology they originally invented in 1983, with software tools, intellectual property; and good customer support, and provide high-value programmable solutions for their customers. In all these years Altera has been able to adapt and be at the forefront of these changes. They are headquartered in San Jose, California, with locations in 19 countries.

In size, the company is larger than its nearest competitor, Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX). The company has a solid balance sheet and is down considerably from its 2000 high of $67 per share, even though it is now making about triple the amount of what they made in 2000.

Because of their continued investment in research and development, Altera continues to create more innovative solutions for a wide variety of customers. Their products are customized to serve many sectors of businesses such as: medicine, testing and measurement devices, the broadcast industry, along with the industries previously mentioned in the first paragraph.

It’s also hard to beat a return on equity of 33.7% and small amount of long term debt. Altera pays a small dividend (less than 1%) so those of you who depend on income from your portfolio may not want this particular selection. For the long-term investors Altera is an undervalued gem on the stock market.

Source: Altera: An Undervalued Gem