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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 30.30% over the past year, 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.       Nvidia Corporation (NVDA - Free Report)

If you have been paying attention to this space at all lately, you probably already know that Nvidia has emerged as one of Wall Street’s most exciting growth prospects over the past year. Nvidia is a leading producer of graphics processing units for the PC gaming market, but the company has also emerged as a top pick for datacenters and a pioneer in self-driving cars and AI.

Nvidia is currently a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The stock has soared a staggering 112% within the past year. Our current consensus estimates are calling for earnings growth of 11% and sales growth of 16% in the upcoming fiscal year. However, we have seen that analysts have had a difficult time keeping up with Nvidia’s growth, especially in the wake of new product announcements.

At this year’s CES even in Las Vegas, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang revealed a variety of new initiatives, including a high-end display for gamers and new self-driving car partnerships with Uber and Volkswagen. Nvidia is trading at about 50x forward earnings, but that is the price investors have to pay for the company’s dominance of the gaming industry and leadership in exciting growth markets.


2.       Micron Technology (MU)

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. Micron’s rapid top and bottom line growth has made short-term price swings a common occurrence, but the firm has the potential to dominate for years.

Micron is currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Shares have soared more than 108% in the past year. The company’s fiscal year is up in August, and current projections are calling for full-year earnings growth of 98% and sales growth of 37%. Meanwhile, share prices have not caught up, and the stock is trading at just 5x forward earnings.

Additionally, MU is sporting a P/S ratio of a respectable 2.29. The stock’s PEG ratio of 0.47 indicates that investors are getting a great price for its earnings growth. Plus, the company is generating a staggering $8.20 in cash per share, which should help sure up its financials in case demand does slip over the years.


3.       Broadcom Limited (AVGO - Free Report)

Broadcom is one of the largest semiconductor manufacturing firms in the world. The company is co-headquartered in San Jose and Singapore and was formed through the merger of Avago and Broadcom Corporation last year. The chipmaker specializes in wired infrastructure, wireless communications, enterprise storage, and industrial solutions.

In its most recent quarter, Broadcom posted earnings of $4.59 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of nine cents and improving 32.2% year-over-year. Non-GAAP revenues from continuing operations of $4.85 billion were also above our consensus estimate and 16.9% higher than the year-ago quarter.

Positive estimate revisions poured in following the solid report, and now AVGO is sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). But the stock is still trading at just 14x forward earnings. Also, management is generating cash flow growth of nearly 58% and paying out a respectable 2.57% dividend.


Want more stock market analysis from this author? Make sure to follow @Ryan_McQueeney on Twitter!

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