A Roller-Coaster Year for InterDigital

With the year quickly coming to an end, it's always a good idea to check up on how some of our most-watched stocks are doing. By continually completing our due diligence, we're able to get a sense for where a business is coming from, and where it's going.

Today, we'll be examining InterDigital (Nasdaq: IDCC  ) , a company that focuses on providing wireless connectivity solutions and improved bandwidth to users around the world.

As you'll see below, it was a roller-coaster year for shareholders, mostly due to a flurry of patent acquisitions; but first, let's take a look at the numbers:

Stats on InterDigital

Year-to-Date Stock Return (3.7%)
Market Cap $1.8 billion
1-Year Revenue Growth 32.7%
1-Year EPS Growth 76.1%
Cash/Debt (millions) $691/$191
CAPS Rating (out of 5) ****

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Google Finance, Motley Fool CAPS.

A summer to remember
While the year is coming to a close with InterDigital's shares more or less on par with where they were 12 months ago, that doesn't even tell half the story. Take a look at this summer's action, and you'll get a better idea.

It all started in midsummer when a flurry of moves took place surrounding the purchase of patents. First, a consortium of companies -- including Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) , Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) , and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) -- outbid Google and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) for a portfolio of patents offered up in bankruptcy .

Google followed that up by buying Motorola Mobility, almost entirely to gain access to their patents. And shortly thereafter, InterDigital let it be known that its portfolio of patents was almost entirely up for sale as well.

Since then, things have cooled off considerably, and without any obvious suitors -- and a broken patent system -- investors are having a difficult time putting a reliable price tag on InterDigital's prospects. InterDigital isn't alone, either, as this is a problem fellow patent-heavy company VirnetX (AMEX: VHC  ) has dealt with this year as well.

Clearly, it's in your best interest to add InterDigital to your watchlist if the company interests you; deals on patents can occur at a moment's notice. And if you're interested in another idea in the wireless connectivity field, I suggest taking a look at our special free report, "The Next Trillion Dollar Revolution," which details the one company set to benefit from the mobile revolution. Get your copy today, absolutely free!

Fool contributor Brian Stoffel owns shares of Google, Intel, and Apple. You can follow him on Twitter at @TMFStoffel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Apple, Intel, and Google, and has bought calls on Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft, Apple, InterDigital, Google, and Intel, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Intel, Apple, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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