Playing the Mobile Chip Boom

In this video, Fool.com analyst Eric Bleeker talks about ways for investors to profit from surging semiconductor sales to the smartphone segment. One company that's very well-positioned to benefit from continued mobile phone sales growth is Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM  ) .

However, Bleeker warns that the company might not be the deal investors expect. Broadcom has long used a compensation scheme where employees are paid lower base salaries, but are granted lucrative stock options. Since stock compensation is a non-cash charge, this causes the company's free cash flow to look extremely attractive relative to its position at the center of mobile growth.

The rub? To prevent diluting existing shareholders Broadcom must routinely repurchase large sums of common stock. The best approach for investors to take in this case is to subtract Broadcom's stock-based compensation from its free cash flow. After doing this, the company's valuation looks pretty dismal.

Bleeker recommends investors instead look to Broadcom's archrival, Marvell (Nasdaq: MRVL  ) . The two companies are engaged in designing very similar semiconductor products, but after accounting for stock-based compensation, Marvell's valued at much more reasonable rates.

Finally, for investors looking to directly target the mobile segment, both RF Micro Devices (Nasdaq: RFMD  ) and Skyworks (Nasdaq: SWKS  ) have seen booming sales recently thanks to their focus on components central to mobile devices.

To hear Bleeker's full thoughts on the subject, click on the video below:

Eric Bleeker owns shares of no companies listed above. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On August 02, 2010, at 11:30 AM, jjff168 wrote:

    I have worked for both brcm and mrvl now and then. I don't see much difference in the way its exployees are paid. brcm does pay better in salary ;)

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