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Why Apple Supplier Stocks Jumped Today

By Evan Niu, CFA - Mar 19, 2020 at 4:04PM

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Analysts are optimistic that Apple's businesses will recover from the COVID-19 crisis, which is good news for suppliers.

What happened

Shares of numerous Apple suppliers have jumped today -- along with the broader market -- thanks in large part to ongoing volatility related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are how notable suppliers are trading as of 3:20 p.m. EDT:

  • Universal Display (OLED 5.26%): up 15%.
  • Cirrus Logic (CRUS 2.95%): up 16%.
  • NXP Semiconductors (NXPI 3.79%): up 17%.
  • Broadcom (AVGO 2.52%): up 19%.

Multiple analysts have called for investors to buy Apple stock based on expectations that the Mac maker's business will be able to recover quickly after the crisis subsides. Apple just refreshed the iPad Pro, which could also bode well for certain component suppliers.

Six iPhone 11 handsets being splashed with water

Image source: Apple.

So what

Universal Display, which is at the center of OLED display technology, has warned that the novel coronavirus pandemic would impact the OLED industry just as manufacturers have been ramping production capacity. The company issued guidance last month that calls for revenue of $430 million to $470 million this year, which would translate into 11% growth at the midpoint. Apple has been increasingly incorporating OLED displays into iPhones, and is expected to continue that trend in 2020 with at least four OLED-equipped models.

Cirrus Logic received a vote of confidence from Wall Street earlier this week, with Cowen boosting its rating on the stock to outperform. Analyst Matthew Ramsay believes that the sell-off "presents a window for investors to step in ahead of a multiyear content story at Apple." The Cupertino tech giant accounts for over 80% of sales and Ramsay expects Cirrus Logic will expand its relationship with the company.

NXP Semiconductors, an early pioneer in NFC technology that is used in mobile payment services like Apple Pay, also counts Apple as one of its top 10 OEM customers. Adoption of contactless payment services continues to rise, and some analysts expect coronavirus fears to accelerate that transition as consumers worry about germs grabbing onto physical payment methods like cash and credit cards.

Broadcom similarly received some bullish commentary from the Street. This week, BMO Capital Markets boosted its rating on the chipmaker to outperform while standing by its price target of $330. The company recently closed its acquisition of cybersecurity specialist Symantec as part of a pivot toward software and services, but CFO Tom Krause said last week that Broadcom would pause all M&A activity in the near term "until visibility improves." Broadcom disclosed in January that it had scored a $15 billion multiyear contract with Apple for wireless components.

All four suppliers have design wins in Apple mobile devices, and the iPhone maker's expected entry into 5G this year should spur a massive upgrade cycle. Hopefully, the world will have contained the coronavirus by then.

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Stocks Mentioned

NXP Semiconductors N.V. Stock Quote
NXP Semiconductors N.V.
$159.32 (3.79%) $5.81
Cirrus Logic, Inc. Stock Quote
Cirrus Logic, Inc.
$72.64 (2.95%) $2.08
Universal Display Corporation Stock Quote
Universal Display Corporation
$113.67 (5.26%) $5.68
Broadcom Limited Stock Quote
Broadcom Limited
$509.09 (2.52%) $12.51

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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