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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Micron Technology, Cabot Microelectronics, Diodes, Ichor Holdings and Texas Instruments

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 15, 2018 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Micron Technology, Inc. MU, Cabot Microelectronics Corporation CCMP, Diodes Incorporated DIOD, Ichor Holdings, Ltd. ICHR and Texas Instruments Incorporated TXN.

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Chip Stocks Offer Upside Even After Red-Hot Years: 5 Picks

Last year, the semiconductor industry outpaced the S&P 500’s astonishing returns, which made many believe that chipmakers do not possibly have any room to run this year. They however were largely mistaken. From high-end gaming, emergence of Internet-of-Things (IoT) to automation demand for chips, all are skyrocketing. Meanwhile, supply is low which spells a grand period for chip stocks.

Given the bullishness, investing in solid semiconductor stocks seems like a foolproof plan.

High Tech Industries Rely on Semiconductors

At the end of 2017, financial holding company Morgan Stanley said that semiconductor stocks have reached their peak and, thus, investors should have “increasingly negative prospects for the industry.” This resulted in a correction in the semiconductor industry, thereby, marring the prospects of chip makers entering 2018.

The semiconductor industry, however, fought all odds and continued to expand, climbing 20% on a year-over-year basis in the first four months of this year. And this was possible because of tech behemoths’ dependency on semiconductors, something, which will propel the industry to even greater heights.

And why not? Semiconductor chips are in demand for some of the fastest growing tech industries in the world like e-sports and crypto mining. E-sports, a multiplayer video game for professional gamers, needs thousands of semiconductor chips for production. These chips are an essential part of crypto mining as they provide the processing power needed for decoding blockchain algorithms.

Demand-Supply Disparity

But, it’s not just e-sports and crypto mining, emergence of cloud data-centers and artificial intelligence (AI) to name a few have also driven demand for chips. Meanwhile, increased chip complexity has resulted in lack of supply.

Higher demand along with low supply has pushed the prices of chips, giving chipmakers huge profit margins. This is the reason why iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF and Market Vectors Semiconductor ETFs have steadily outpaced the broader market. While the ETFs are up more than 25% over the past year, the S&P 500 gained 13.5%.

Nvidia’s Stellar Performance Reflects High Demand

NVIDIA’s recent upbeat quarterly performance underlined the strong demand for semiconductors across the globe. Chipmakers’ first-quarter net income totaled $1.24 billion or $1.98 a share, way more than $507 million or 79 cents a year ago. Revenues too rose to $3.21 billion from $1.94 billion in the year-ago period. The results, by the way, topped Wall Street estimates.

Nvidia founder and chief executive, Jensen Huang said that “our data-center business achieved another record and gaming remained strong. At the heart of our opportunity is the incredible growth of computing demand of AI, just as traditional computing has slowed.”

5 Red-Hot Chips

With demand showing no signs of weakness amid relatively constrained supply, chip stocks should continue to stay hot. And one of the hottest chip stocks in the past 12 months has been Micron Technology, Inc.

Micron’s shares surged 78.6% in the time frame. Even though high-end smartphone demand is declining, it is compensated by the increase in demand in high growth areas like cloud data-centers and AI. Apple, in the meantime, might be facing a slack in its smartphone business but other products like smartwatches and tablets are making up for it. Hence, overall demand for Micron’s products remains robust. These factors should help Micron to keep climbing higher. The stock, which is part of the Semiconductor Memory industry, is expected to gain a whopping 121.6% this year.

To top it, investors have seen nine earnings estimate revisions higher, compared with none lower, at least when looking at the current-year time frame. And the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Micron’s earnings has trended almost 4% upward over the past 60 days. If this wasn’t enough, Micron flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Some of the other chip stocks that have been red hot in the past year and should stay that way are Cabot Microelectronics Corporation, Diodes Incorporated, Ichor Holdings, Ltd. and Texas Instruments Incorporated.

Cabot Microelectronics manufactures and sells polishing slurries, and pads used in the manufacture of advanced integrated circuit (IC) devices in the semiconductor industry. Currently, the company has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings rose 4.2% in the last 60 days. The stock gained 44.9% in the said period. The stock’s projected growth rate for the current year is 37.9%, compared with the industry’s gain of 4.1%.

Diodes manufactures and supplies application-specific standard products in the discrete, logic, and analog and mixed semiconductor markets. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings rose 2.6% in the last 60 days. Shares of the company have climbed 24% in the past year. The stock’s projected growth rate for the current year is 45.9%, compared with the industry’s gain of 4.1%.

Ichor Holdings – a Zacks Rank #2 company – manufactures fluid delivery subsystems and components for semiconductor capital equipment. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings rose 7.9% in the last 60 days. The stock has jumped 28.5% over the past one-year period. The stock’s projected growth rate for the current year is 52.2%, compared with the industry’s gain of 4.1%.

Texas Instruments manufactures and sells semiconductors to electronics designers and manufacturers. Currently, the company has a Zacks Rank #1. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings rose 9.9% in the last 60 days. The stock has surged 34% over the past year. Its projected growth rate for the current year is 26.9%, compared with the industry’s 18.4%.

5 Medical Stocks to Buy Now

Zacks names 5 companies poised to ride a medical breakthrough that is targeting cures for leukemia, AIDS, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, and other conditions.

New products in this field are already generating substantial revenue and even more wondrous treatments are in the pipeline. Early investors could realize exceptional profits.

Click here to see the 5 stocks >>

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1 Stock of the Day pick for free.

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year.See these high-potential stocks free >>.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Cabot Microelectronics Corporation (CCMP) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Diodes Incorporated (DIOD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Ichor Holdings, Ltd. (ICHR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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