The 5G Revolution Could Send These 3 Stocks Higher
We’ve got a full month of 2021 behind us now, and a few trends are coming clearer. The coronavirus crisis may still be with us, but as vaccination programs expand, the end is in sight. With President Trump out of the picture, and the Democrats holding both Houses of Congress and the White House, politics is looking more predictable. And both of those developments bode well for an economic recovery this year. Looking back, at the year that was, we can also see some trends that stayed firm despite the pandemic, the shutdowns, and the supercharged election season. One of the most important is the ongoing rollout of 5G networking technology. These new networks bring with them a fuller realization of the promises inherent in the digital world. Faster connections, lower latency, higher online capacity, clearer signals – all will strongly enhance the capabilities of the networked world. And it won’t just be mundane things like telecommuting or remote offices that will benefit – 5G will allow Internet of Things and autonomous vehicles to further develop their potential. There is even talk of medical applications, of remotely located doctors performing surgery via digitally controlled microsurgical tools. And these are just the possibilities that we can see from now. Who know what the future will really bring? To this end, we pulled up TipRanks’ database to learn more about three exciting plays in the 5G space. According to the Street, we are likely to see further interesting developments in the next few years as this technology takes over. Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) The first 5G name we’re looking at, Skyworks, is a semiconductor chip manufacturer that brought in $3.4 billion in total revenues for FY2020. Skyworks, which is a prime supplier of chips for Apple’s iPhone series, saw a massive 68% year-over-year increase in 1QFY21 revenues – the top line reached $1.51 billion, a company record, and also much higher than analysts had forecast. Much of Skyworks’ fiscal Q1 sales success came after Apple launched the 5G-capable iPhone 12 line. Strong sales in the popular handset device meant that profits trickled down the supply line – and Skyworks channels a disproportionate share of its business to Apple. In fact, Apple orders accounted for 70% of Skyworks’ revenue in the recent quarter. iPhone wasn’t the only 5G handset on the receiving end of Skyworks’ chips, however – the company is also an important supplier to Korea’s Samsung and China’s Xiaomi, and has seen demand rise as these companies also launch 5G-capable smartphones. Finally, Skyworks supplies semiconductor chip components to the wireless infrastructure sector, specifically to the ‘small cell’ transmission units which are important in the propagation network of wireless signals. As the wireless providers switch to 5G transmission, Skyworks has seen orders for its products increase. In his note on Skyworks for Benchmark, 5-star analyst Ruben Roy writes: “SWKS significantly beat consensus estimates and provided March quarter guidance that is also well ahead of consensus estimates as 5G related mobile revenue and broad-based segment revenue continued to accelerate… In addition to continued strength of design win momentum and customer activity, we are encouraged with SWKS confident tone relative to the overall demand environment and content increase opportunities.” In line with his comments, Roy rates SWKS a Buy along with a $215 price target. At current levels, this implies an upside of 20% for the coming year. (To watch Roy’s track record, click here) Roy is broadly in line with the rest of Wall Street, which has assigned SWKS 13 Buy ratings and 7 Holds over the past three month — and sees the stock growing about 15% over the next 12 months, to a target price of $205.69.(See SWKS stock analysis on TipRanks) Qorvo, Inc. (QRVO) Qorvo’s chief products are chipsets used in the construction of radio frequency transmission systems that power wifi and broadband communication networks. The connection of this niche to 5G is clear – as network providers upgrade their RF hardware to 5G, they also upgrade the semiconductor chips that control the systems. This chip maker has a solid niche, but it is not resting on its laurels. Qorvo is actively developing a range of new products specifically for 5G systems and deployment. This 5G radio frequency product portfolio includes phase shifters, switches, and integrated modules, and contains both infrastructure and mobile products. Qorvo posted $3.24 billion in total revenues for fiscal 2020. That revenue represents a 4.8% year-over-year increase – and the company’s sales have been accelerating in fiscal 2021. The most recent quarterly report, for the second fiscal quarter, showed $1.06 billion in revenues, a 31% yoy increase. Rajvindra Gill, 5-star analyst with Needham, is bullish on Qorvo’s prospects, noting: “Qorvo reported strong sales and gross margins as 5G momentum rolls into CY21 on atypical seasonality… The company is planning for 500M 5G handsets to be manufactured in 2021, with an incremental $5-7 of content/unit from 4G to 5G. Management believes that ultra-wideband adoption will be a key growth driver in for smartphones going forward…” To this end, Gill puts a $220 price target on QRVO shares, suggesting room for 31% upside in 2021. Accordingly, he rates the stock a Buy. (To watch Gill’s track record, click here) What do other analysts have to say? 13 Buys and and 6 Holds add up to a Moderate Buy analyst consensus. Given the $192.28 average price target, shares could climb ~15% from current levels. (See QRVO stock analysis on TipRanks) Telefonakiebolaget LM Ericsson (ERIC) From chipsets, we’ll move on to handsets. Ericsson, the Swedish telecom giant has long been a leader in mobile tech, and is well known for its infrastructure and software that make possible IP networking, broadband, cable TV, and other telecom services. Ericsson is the largest European telecom company, and the largest 2G/3G/4G infrastructure provider outside of China. But that is all in the background. Ericsson is also a leader in the rollout of Europe’s growing 5G networks. Ericsson is involved in 5G rollout in 17 countries in Europe, the Americas, and Asia, and its product line includes infrastructure base units and handsets, giving the company an interest in all aspects of the new 5G networks. Ericsson’s revenue performance in 2020 was not notably distressed by the corona crisis. Yes, the top line dipped in Q1, but that was in line with the company’s historical pattern of rising revenue from Q1 through Q4. While the company’s 1H20 revenues showed small yoy declines, the 2H20 gains were higher. In Q3, the $6.48 billion top line was up 8.7% yoy, and Q4’s $8.08 billion revenue was up 17% from the prior year. The company’s shares have also performed well during the ‘corona year,’ and show a 12 month gain of 64%. Raymond James’ 5-star analyst Simon Leopold bluntly assigns Ericsson’s recent gains to its participation in 5G rollouts. “Japan’s awaited 5G roll-out has started. Share gains continue as Ericsson benefits from challenges facing its biggest competitors and more operators embrace 5G… it seems obvious that Ericsson should be gaining market share… Competitor Nokia shunned the Chinese 5G projects, citing profitability challenges, yet Ericsson appears to be profiting in the challenging region.” Leopold rates this stock an Outperform (i.e. Buy), and his $15 price target implies an upside potential of ~14% for the year ahead. (To watch Leopold’s track record, click here) The Raymond James analyst, while bullish on ERIC, is actually less so than the Wall Street consensus. The stock has a Strong Buy consensus rating, based on a unanimous 5 reviews, and the $16.50 average price target indicates 25% growth potential from the share price of $13.19. (See ERIC stock analysis on TipRanks) To find good ideas for 5G stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.