Semiconductor stocks took a beating last month as the United States and China edged closer to a long and costly trade war. While the sector is highly vulnerable to trade-war hostilities, it remains one of the most vital components of the global economy. That’s because semiconductor companies feed a massive supply chain that intersects some of the most important industries, including technology and defense.
If you’re interested in dabbling in the sector, three companies that should be on your radar are Xilinx Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX), Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO), and NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI).
- Market Cap: $25.9 billion
- Annual Revenue Growth: +20% (March 2019)
- Free Cash Flow: $1.001 billion
Xilinx doesn’t have the same name recognition as some of the leading semiconductor companies, but consider this important tidbit: it was the only chipmaker to make it to Goldman Sachs’ Americas Conviction list. The company has exposure to several chip-intensive industries, such as communications, aerospace, and measurement instrumentation. The communications sector is Xilinx’s largest end-market, which means it is poised to capitalize on the 5G revolution. Combined with its massive free cash flow position, Xilinx appears to have a very bright future.
Like other semiconductor stocks, Xilinx’s stock price has declined sharply in the last month or so. Since peaking near $140 in April, XLNX has given back more than 27%. Investors with a long-term view of the market may find current prices highly attractive.
- Market Cap: $99.6 billion
- Annual Revenue Growth: +18.2% (October 2018)
- Free Cash Flow: $8.245 billion
In terms of size and revenue growth, very few semiconductor companies measure up to Broadcom. The San Jose-based infrastructure provider has more than tripled its revenue in the last three years. In the quarter ended October 2018, the company’s annual revenues reached a staggering $20.848 billion.
Broadcom’s AVGO stock hit an all-time high earlier this year after the company surpassed estimates in its most recent earnings call. Free cash flow surged 39% during the quarter, putting the company in prime position for further expansion. Broadcom also announced plans to return $12 billion to shareholders through a combination of dividend payments and share buybacks.
- Market Cap: $25.1 billion
- Annual Revenue Growth: +1.6% (December 2018)
- Free Cash Flow: $3.708 billion
Despite being one of the worst-performing semiconductor stocks of 2018, NXP offers a compelling opportunity for investors looking for long-term value. The company’s revenues are growing again after a modest dip in 2017. Its free cash flow position has more than doubled to $3.708 billion.
During its most recent earnings call, the Dutch chipmaker generated top-line earnings of $2.1 billion, which was higher than expected. Analysts calculated its adjusted per-share earnings to be around $1.60, which was also better than forecasts. CEO Rick Clemmer said the company should fully emerge from its downturn in the second half of 2019, though political and macroeconomic risks could undermine that outlook.
NXPI stock has returned more than 17% year-to-date. It was up more than 40% through early May.
Semiconductor stocks are poised for recovery should the United States and China overcome their trade hostilities. Read why the U.S.-China trade war threatens technology stocks the most.
Disclaimer: Author holds no investment position in Xilinx, Broadcom, or NXP Semiconductors at the time of writing.