A Big Upgrade for Silicon Labs

Every day, the sun rises on Wall Street, and a plethora of professional analysts wake to issue new opinions on stocks. Here at the Fool, we use our "This Just In" column to examine some of these picks -- and the track record of the firms behind them -- so individuals can make better investing decisions.

In addition to following professional banks, anyone can use Motley Fool CAPS to monitor the collective opinions of more than 110,000 investors, many of whom demonstrate better investing insight than published analysts do.

Lately, enough top-performing CAPS investors have turned bullish on Silicon Laboratories (Nasdaq: SLAB  ) to upgrade it from the four-star rank it has held for most of the recent past to a top-ranked five stars. With 327 investors weighing in on Silicon Labs, there's plenty of analysis and commentary explaining the recent optimism.

Even though the Semiconductor Industry Association lowered its forecast of total 2008 semiconductor sales growth to a mere 4.3%, increased healthy consumer demand for PCs and cellular handsets bodes well for suppliers like Silicon Labs and neighbor Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN  ) . With major customers such as Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN  ) , Samsung, and Motorola (NYSE: MOT  ) shipping millions of consumer devices each quarter, the company has even raised its second-quarter outlook based on increased demand for its voice and embedded modem products.

Just as many major semiconductor players such as Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) and AMD (NYSE: AMD  ) are struggling to profitably navigate the market's cycles, Silicon Labs has had its share of ups and downs. But many investors believe there is still plenty of opportunity in semiconductors. Fool co-founder Tom Gardner is one of those investors, as he recommended Silicon Labs to Motley Fool Stock Advisor members in 2004 thanks to significant insider ownership and a strong balance sheet.

And the struggles the company has had along the way didn't shake Tom from his recommendation; he chose to recommend it twice more thanks to confidence in the fundamentals. A strong contingent of CAPS investors believe there's value in Silicon Labs as well, as 309 of the 327 rating the company are bullish.

To see what the very best CAPS analysts are saying now about Silicon Labs -- as well as other winning stocks they are picking -- head on over to CAPS and have a look. The community research and resources in CAPS are totally free, unlike analyst opinions reserved for paying clients.

More Foolishness:

Three-time Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Silicon Labs has helped Tom and David Gardner beat the market by 38 percentage points on average. To see all the stocks they're picking today, take a free 30-day trial

Garmin is also a Stock Advisor recommendation, as well as a pick of Global Gains. Intel was chosen at Inside Value.

Fool contributor Dave Mock recently upgraded sunburn from excruciating pain to moderate nuisance. He owns shares of Intel, Garmin, and Motorola, and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. The Fool's disclosure policy always remembers its sunscreen.


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