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A Tech Stock Worth Buying Before Catalysts Send It Higher

By Harsh Chauhan - May 29, 2021 at 1:41PM

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Investors looking for a stock that will let them take advantage of hot tech trends should take a closer look at this company.

Analog Devices (ADI -0.78%) has had a wild ride on the stock market in 2021 thanks to the broader tech sell-off, but investors looking to take advantage of fast-growing markets such as connected cars, electric vehicles, 5G technology, and industrial connectivity shouldn't be bothered by the short-term volatility.

Analog Devices has been delivering robust growth in recent quarters. More importantly, it isn't going to run out of steam anytime soon, as it has a bunch of solid catalysts. Let's look closely at the reasons this tech stock's terrific growth is here to stay and why now is an excellent time to go long.

Person examining a chip with a magnifying glass.

Image source: Getty Images.

Analog Devices is pulling the right strings

Analog Devices recently released fiscal Q2 results. Its revenue shot up 26% year over year to $1.66 billion, while adjusted earnings jumped 43% to $1.54 per share, driven by margin gains. Analog's adjusted gross margin increased 320 basis points to 70.9% in Q2 as compared to the year-ago quarter. Adjusted operating margin shot up 370 basis points to 41.7%.

Analog Devices registered this impressive growth on the back of strong demand. The company's focus on streamlining its manufacturing operations also helped it cut down on expenses during the quarter. What's more, Analog Devices expects its gross margin to improve further in the second half of the year, thanks to savings arising from the consolidation of its manufacturing operations.

A robust demand environment in key end markets should ensure consistent growth in Analog's top line. The industrial market, for instance, is benefiting from the increasing deployment of wireless connectivity. CEO Vincent Roche pointed out on the latest earnings conference call that industrial customers are "looking to add sensing, edge processing and connectivity to make supply chains more robust, more efficient and flexible."

This was evident from the new design wins scored by Analog last quarter. The company said that a couple of large industrial machine manufacturers in Europe selected Analog's Ethernet solutions, while an automation company chose its ultra-high-frequency wireless solution to power its robotic systems in a bid to lower costs and reduce downtime.

The industrial business accounted for 59% of Analog's total revenue last quarter and recorded 36% year-over-year growth. The recent design wins indicate that it won't be running out of steam, while the broader market's prospects should ensure sustained growth in the industrial business for a long time to come. According to a third-party estimate, the usage of connectivity and automation in the industrial market -- popularly known as Industry 4.0 -- is expected to increase rapidly in the coming years, clocking nearly 20% annual growth through 2025.

Two more reasons to buy

Analog Devices' automotive business is sitting on secular catalysts thanks to a rise in vehicular connectivity and the increasing demand for electric vehicles. The segment produced 16% of the company's total revenue last quarter, recording 42% year-over-year growth as automotive production improved over last year. Analog Devices saw particularly strong growth in the electric vehicle (EV) market, where the demand for battery management systems (BMS) more than doubled over the prior year.

The company is now supplying its BMS solutions to Volvo, along with two Asian automakers and a luxury car maker from Europe. With the BMS market expected to clock a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 20% through 2024, don't be surprised to see Analog Devices sustain elevated levels of growth in the automotive business.

The communications business, however, turned out to be a slow performer for Analog last quarter. The segment's revenue was flat year over year on account of muted 5G network deployments so far in 2021. But Analog Devices is optimistic for a turnaround, as 5G builds are expected to pick up the pace in the second half of the year.

The multiple growth drivers Analog is sitting on are reflected in the company's outstanding guidance. The company anticipates adjusted earnings of $1.61 per share on $1.7 billion in revenue this quarter. Adjusted operating margin is expected at 42.5%. These numbers indicate that Analog is anticipating year-over-year growth in the high teens this quarter -- and it may be able to sustain such growth for a long time to come.

Investors looking to add a growth stock to their portfolios have plenty of reasons to go long on Analog Devices, especially considering that it trades at a reasonable 23 times forward earnings.

Harsh Chauhan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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