With several interesting trends like the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence on the rise, it is an exciting time to be investing in the technology sector. What’s more, it is also a profitable time to be a tech-focused investor, as this space has been among the strongest performing sectors all year.
And while the behemoths like Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) and Apple (AAPL - Free Report) may hog all the headlines, it’s really been the companies powering their technologies—the semiconductor manufacturers—that have had a strong year on the markets.
Indeed, as our Computer and Technology sector has gained nearly 28.40% year-to-date, semiconductor companies have been a driving factor behind its growth. The aforementioned emerging tech trends have created new consumer demand, and the semiconductor makers are delivering.
Luckily, the proven Zacks stock picking methods are effective across all industries. Check out these Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) semiconductor stocks right now:
1. Micron Technology (MU - Free Report)
Micron is one of the leading worldwide providers of semiconductor memory solutions. The company’s memory solutions are marketed towards customers in a variety of industries, including computer manufacturing, consumer electronics, and telecommunications.
Shares of Micron are up over 100% year-to-date, and the stock is one of Wall Street’s most talked about. This is owed directly to the company’s incredible growth rates on the top and bottom lines. In fact, our current consensus estimates are calling for triple-digit EPS growth and 60% sales growth this quarter. MU is also sporting an “A” grade for Value, which is underscored by its impressive P/E ratio of just 5.85 and its P/S ratio of 2.49.
2. Lam Research Corporation (LRCX - Free Report)
Lam Research is a designer and manufacturer of semiconductor processing equipment used in the fabrication of integrated circuits. The company is recognized as a leading supplier of front-end wafer processing equipment to the worldwide semiconductor industry.
LRCX is another exciting growth and value pick. For its full fiscal year, which ends in June, our consensus estimates are calling for EPS growth of 45% and revenue growth of 29%. And although shares have soared nearly 98% this year, the stock’s P/E ratio of 14.48 and PEG ratio of 0.98 are still better than their respective industry averages.
3. Intel Corporation (INTC - Free Report)
Intel is the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer. Its status as an industry leader means that the stock isn’t an exciting young growth pick like many others in this space, but with Intel, investors know they are getting a stable company that has its hands in nearly every emerging trend in the tech sector.
After crushing earnings estimates by over 20 cents in its latest quarter, Intel is riding some strong momentum right now. Our consensus estimate for its current-quarter earnings has gained three cents over the past 30 days, and now expect the company to report EPS growth of 9%. Intel is also generating about $4.44 in cash per share, which nearly triples the industry average, and its dividend of 2.33% is respectable for a tech stock and further highlights the company’s financial stability.
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