The U.S.-China trade war has been a headwind for tech stocks in recent months. In particular, the addition of Huawei to the Commerce Department's Entity List -- which heavily restricted U.S. companies from doing business with the Chinese tech giant -- has crippled a line of revenue that the likes of Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ:SWKS) and Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX) were enjoying earlier.
Both chipmakers' latest quarterly reports revealed that they've taken a hit. However, speaking at a Council on Foreign Relations event last week, White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow asserted that Beijing and Washington were close to hammering out a limited, phase-one trade deal.
As such, there's a good chance that Skyworks and Xilinx might witness a turnaround in their fortunes next year. If that indeed happens, now would be a great time to load up on these two tech stocks, given their growth potential.
Skyworks Solutions is already turning around
Skyworks' revenues took a major blow earlier this year after the company had to stop shipping semiconductor products to Huawei. But in its fiscal fourth quarter, performance turned out to be slightly ahead of expectations.
True, Skyworks' revenue was down 18% year over year for the period, which ended Sept. 27, and earnings were down by an even more painful 22%. However, at $1.52 per share, those earnings did beat Wall Street's consensus expectation. More importantly, management's revenue forecast for the current quarter is a clear indication that the company is in turnaround mode.
The chipmaker anticipates $870 million to $890 million in revenue this quarter. At the midpoint of that guidance range, that would be a 9% drop from fiscal Q1 2019's top line -- a marked improvement over the decline Skyworks suffered last quarter.
There's a simple reason why Skyworks is now on course for a turnaround. The company gets more than 60% of its revenue from sales of mobile chips, and that market is sitting on a major catalyst in the form of 5G smartphones. Skyworks CEO Liam Griffin elaborated on this opportunity on the company's latest earnings conference call:
At a higher level, the 5G upgrade cycle is now fully underway expanding across four continents with over 80 carriers and an expanding set of smartphone and IoT customers. We expect a substantial upgrade cycle as the 5 billion mobile subscribers today migrate from their 3G and 4G devices to 5G creating a significant opportunity for Skyworks.
The opportunity is indeed significant as 5G smartphone shipments are anticipated to exceed 123 million units in 2020 -- accounting for 9% of total smartphone shipments -- as per IDC's estimates. The share of 5G smartphones is expected to jump to 28% of the overall market by 2023. Skyworks is getting in place to take advantage of that growth thanks to the design wins it has scored with Qualcomm, Samsung, and MediaTek.
So, the shift in the smartphone market next year will be a tailwind for Skyworks Solutions. This is probably the reason why the company is expected to deliver double-digit top-line growth in the new fiscal year following its decline in fiscal 2019.
Xilinx's slowdown seems temporary
Xilinx, too, has lost steam this year thanks to the ban on doing business with Huawei. Prior to that ban going into effect, it sold chips worth $50 million to the company in the first half of its fiscal 2020, mainly in the first quarter, and doesn't expect any more business from that account for the remainder of the year. More specifically, Xilinx had around 6% to 8% revenue exposure to Huawei at the beginning of the year.
With the loss of those Huawei sales, its growth this fiscal year won't be as impressive as it was last year when the 5G catalyst was propelling it more powerfully. Xilinx seems to have lost some momentum in the 5G space as custom chips have hit the market.
But Xilinx is developing several other opportunities. It's the leading player in the FPGA (field-programmable gate array) market, which is growing at an impressive clip. Demand for Xilinx's FPGAs should keep rising, as they are being deployed in data centers for workload acceleration. Moreover, data center spending also looks poised to go north thanks to the advent of 5G networks.
According to a third-party estimate, the global data center market is expected to clock a compound annual growth rate of 17% through 2023. Xilinx's data center segment delivered annual growth of 24% last quarter, and it should be able to keep up that pace.
Meanwhile, Xilinx should get some relief from the automotive market in 2020. The company gets 16% of its revenue from the auto, consumer, and broadcast sales group. The segment's performance has been weighed down by the slowdown in the automotive sector, as Xilinx management pointed out on the latest earnings conference call.
Moody's estimates that the automotive sales decline will start flattening out in 2020. Global auto sales are expected to drop 3.8% this year, as per Moody's estimates, while in 2020, the forecast is for a sales drop of just 0.9%. Given that the automotive business holds a lot of potential for Xilinx, an uptick in this sector would provide a tailwind for the chipmaker.
In all, Xilinx could stage a nice recovery next year because it has several growth drivers. And, currently, its price-to-earnings ratio of 24.4 is lower than its five-year average of 27.4. Considering the company's solid growth drivers and its inexpensive valuation, Xilinx is a stock to buy for the long run.