Chip Stocks Offer Growth Despite Intel Cuts

by: Greg Group

Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC) cut its third-quarter revenue estimate more than expected on Friday due to a decline in demand for its chips as customers reduce inventories and businesses buy fewer personal computers. To the investor, this news would appear to be terrible for stocks in the semiconductor industry. However, Intel's issue is relatively confined to the personal computer (PC) sector. Semiconductors usage spans well beyond the PC as developments in the industry determine the way we work, transport ourselves, communicate, entertain ourselves and respond to our environment.

A revision of Intel targets had been anticipated by some analysts after PC makers Hewlett Packard and Dell Inc warned of slow demand last month, a development that has been compounded by a shaky global economy and consumers shifting toward tablets and smartphones. One of the primary beneficiaries of the growth in mobile phones, tablets and the like is ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH), with its power-efficient, low-performance chip architecture that dominates the growing mobile phone and tablet markets.

With new versions of ARM chips coming to market, it is likely that the chips will gradually spread to the server segment as well. ARM and Synopsys, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNPS) have signed a multi-year agreement that expands Synopsys' access to a broad range of ARM intellectual property (IP). The two companies will broaden their collaboration to enable SoC designers to optimize the power and performance of ARM technology-based SoCs with Synopsys Galaxy Implementation Platform and Discovery VIP, while reducing cost and decreasing time to market.

ARM Holdings beat market expectations for the second quarter after demand for its low-power chips in smartphones outstripped the industry, providing a firm foundation against growing signs of weakening consumer demand. ARM Holdings is projected to grow sales by 12% and EPS next year by 22%. ARM Holdings has a First Call analyst rating of 2.2 for a buy recommendation.

Others benefiting from the consumers shifting toward tablets and smartphones would be Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN), all of which are big semiconductor manufacturers that use ARM architecture.

Qualcomm, which helped popularize a technology used in many cellphones called code-division multiple access, or CDMA, has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of rising demand for smartphones and other mobile devices. Last month, the company said its fiscal third-quarter profit rose as the chip maker continued to see strong demand for its smartphone technology.

Analysts forecast a 28% revenue increase for FY 12 and advances of 18% in FY 13 and 10% in FY 14, following a 36% increase in FY 11. Qualcomm will see a strong reception of high-end chips and penetration of mid-tier hand sets throughout FY 12 will drive growth, in addition to revenue from the Atheros acquisition. Qualcomm has a First Call analyst rating of 2.0 for a buy recommendation.

Texas Instruments has recently announced several key upgrades to several popular chips. Texas Instruments recently expanded its industry-leading portfolio of current shunt monitors with four new devices. The integrated circuits monitor power supply current, voltage and power values with best-in-class features that reduce board space and bill of materials while delivering high accuracy.

Texas Instruments reported second quarter revenues of $3.34 billion, net income of$446 million and earnings per share of 38 cents. The company expects third quarter revenue to be in the range of $3.21 billion to $3.47 billion.

Texas Instruments has a First Call analyst rating of 2.4 for a buy recommendation.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.