How to Profit From the U.S. Connectivity Boom

The U.S. budget offers investment ideas, if you know where to look.

Jul 15, 2014 at 4:28PM

With an expected fiscal 2015 budget of $3.9 trillion  there is a lot of money to be spent in the United States. One way to profit from this is to find companies or products that the U.S. budget focuses on.

There are couple ways to use the budget for investment ideas. One way is explicit. For instance, the Department of Defense includes plenty of references to equipment that is made by publicly owned companies. Another way is to look for underlying socioeconomic trends. One trend I found was the topic of connectivity.

The budget references connectivity in rural areas on pg. 47 and throughout schools on pg. 69. The shift is ingrained to a point that the U.S. government recognizes it and is enacting policies to aid its advance. There is a nationwide movement to be connected at all times at faster speeds requiring more bandwidth. What the consumer demands the consumer will get, but what companies will gain from this demand? 

The companies
(NYSE:GLW), a glass manufacturing company most famous for "Gorilla Glass," also produces some of the world's best connectivity solutions through metal cables, optical fibers, and wireless technologies. The company's products include an optical USB 3.0 cable that is capable of transporting 5 GB of data per second over a 30-meter distance  and long-haul optical fibers that will be able to withstand the world's ever increasing demand for bandwidth  . The company is a leading developer of wireless technologies, and most recently signed deals to provide wireless Internet access and cellular network access to 50 major sports venues. Providing 100,000 people with wireless Internet and cellphone service in a small space all at the same time is a testament to how well its systems work  . 

Financially, Corning is doing just fine. The company's annual dividend yield is 1.8% at $0.40 a share and has been growing over the last five years. And its revenue has grown by nearly $1.2 billion from 2010 to 2013  . However, its net income has decreased over the same period. At first glance it seems to be attributed to cost of sales and other administrative functions, and it's  worth looking into further. Their optical communications segment grew sales by 9.2% or $196 million, totaling $2.326 billion in optical communications sales. That segment brings in nearly one-third of overall sales . To back up the company's solid revenue growth and increasing dividend it has a dedicated top five management team with a combined 160 years of service and counting with Corning.

The actual use of fiber optics is in its infancy with as few as 25% of the U.S. being covered with fiber optic access . But several companies are attempting to increase that percentage. One such company is Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL). While Google is not generally seen as an Internet service provider, it always looks for ways to grow and introduce innovative technologies.

Google has been and is continuing to test out its Google Fiber service. Currently Google Fiber is set up in three cities: Kansas City, Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah. The service gives users access to faster and higher quality Internet and TV service. Google also provides its customers with a 2 terabyte DVR, a specialized app to control your TV, on-demand shows and movies, 1 terabyte of cloud storage, improved Wi-Fi throughout your residence, and super fast download speeds up to 1GB per second.

The company also began discussions with 34 cities in nine metro areas across the U.S., aiming to provide coverage to nearly 9.3 million more people  . Financially, Google is a gold standard throughout the market, doubling revenue from fiscal 2010 to 2013 while keeping its profit margin above 20% and carrying a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.27. The company seldom needs to finance business activities with debt. The downside is the company does not pay a dividend to its shareholders even though it carries a large amount of cash on its books  

Google is an excellent company looking for other industries to excel and grow in. If fiber optics continue to grow, then Google may have found another winner in its vertical takeover of the tech world. Blair Levin, author of the "National Broadband Plan," said "Google Fiber has been the biggest driver of the fiber-to-the home movement." While little financial information has been released about Google Fiber, it plans to be profitable by getting cities to allow Google Fiber to be integrated into their city planning, using existing infrastructure. 

Foolish bottom line
By reading the U.S. budget, we were able to identify a growing hunger for bandwidth. I would keep an eye out for any company in the tech world that is trying to make a shift from old copper networking to new faster fiber optic networking. What the consumer demands the consumer will get. And fiber optics seems to be the only viable solution to faster network speeds.

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Grant Perry owns shares of Corning. The Motley Fool recommends Corning and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Corning and Google (C shares). 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't 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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