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My Top Stock to Buy in the China Sell-Off

By Harsh Chauhan – Sep 23, 2021 at 10:34AM

Key Points

  • Trouble for real estate developer China Evergrande Group has exacerbated the September sell-off.
  • Qorvo is one of the stocks that has lost ground amid the market volatility this month.
  • Qorvo is winning big from 5G smartphones and other fast-growing connectivity applications.

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This tech stock is delivering explosive growth and trades at a really cheap valuation.

Trouble has been brewing in China as the government's crackdown on the real estate market has put the country's second-largest real estate developer, China Evergrande Group, on the verge of bankruptcy. This has spooked investors across the globe and has amplified the stock market's sell-off in September, a month that's historically considered an underperformer for the market.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average have recorded average declines of 0.5% and 0.8% during September since 1950. It has been more volatile this year as both indexes have tumbled by a bigger margin (but also recovered somewhat), with problems in China contributing to investors' panic and amplifying the volatility.

^SPX Chart

^SPX data by YCharts

But this September stock market volatility presents a great opportunity for savvy investors to buy great companies at enticing valuations. Qorvo (QRVO -0.24%) is one such stock that could turn out to be a terrific buy right now. Shares of the chipmaker have dropped nearly 7% in September amid the China-driven sell-off, but its long-term prospects are robust thanks to notable catalysts. 

Qorvo's red-hot growth is here to stay

Known for supplying radio-frequency chips to smartphone original equipment manufacturers, Qorvo's mobile business has hit a lucky streak. The arrival of 5G smartphones has supercharged the company's business, with its fiscal 2022 first-quarter revenue jumping 41% year over year to $1.11 billion. Its adjusted earnings had shot up to $2.83 per share from $1.50 per share a year ago.

Qorvo expects its top line to jump 18% year over year in the current quarter to $1.25 billion at the midpoint of the guidance range. Adjusted earnings are expected at $3.24 per share as compared to $2.43 per share last year. The mobile business is doing the heavy lifting for Qorvo as the segment's revenue increased 79% year over year in Q1 to $836 million, accounting for 75% of the top line.

Qorvo attributed the higher content in 5G smartphones for this terrific growth. Management pointed out on the August earnings conference call that its content opportunity in 5G devices has increased to the tune of $5 to $7 per device as compared to 4G smartphones. When coupled with the massive growth in 5G smartphone volumes, it becomes easier to see why Qorvo's mobile business has taken off.

Person looking at a stock chart on a smartphone.

Image source: Getty Images.

The chipmaker estimates that 5G smartphone shipments could double in 2021 to 550 million units. By 2025, 5G devices are expected to account for 69% of overall smartphone shipments of 1.54 billion units, according to IDC, indicating that sales of 5G smartphones are expected to double in the next four years.

So, Qorvo's mobile business is set up for multi-year growth. The good part is that it is in a solid position to capitalize on the growth of the 5G smartphone market thanks to clients such as Apple, which produced 30% of Qorvo's total revenue in fiscal 2021.

Apple is going to be a key growth driver for Qorvo both in the short and the long run as the demand for the company's latest iPhone 13 models seems to be strong. According to noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, iPhone 13 preorders are reportedly higher than last year's iPhone 12 lineup. As a result, Apple is expected to witness a 16% spike in iPhone shipments this year compared to last year's 5% growth.

The iPhone 13 is likely to build upon the iPhone 12's success as more of Apple's installed base upgrades to its latest device. Strategy Analytics estimates that the new iPhone could elevate Apple's share of the 5G smartphone market to 40% compared to the current share of 29%. So, Apple's iPhone sales could keep improving in the coming years as the 5G smartphone market takes off.

Qorvo looks set to ride Apple's growth by virtue of being a key supplier to the iPhone maker. The good thing about Qorvo is that it has a few additional catalysts that make it an enticing investment amid the China-led sell-off.

More reasons to go long on Qorvo

While the mobile business is Qorvo's largest source of revenue, the company supplies chips for other fast-growing applications as well. Qorvo's chips are used in smart homes, automotive, smart speakers, 5G infrastructure, and industrial applications.

For instance, Qorvo is supporting the deployment of 5G massive MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) infrastructure in the U.S., Japan, Korea, and Canada. The chipmaker has also scored design wins in India, where the 5G rollout is expected to start next year, while a Chinese OEM has selected Qorvo's small cell solutions to deploy its 5G network.

Mordor Intelligence forecasts that the massive MIMO market could clock a compound annual growth rate of 38% from 2021 to 2026, hitting $12.3 billion in value at the end of the forecast period, indicating that Qorvo has a lot of room for growth. Meanwhile, Qorvo is witnessing outstanding growth in the automotive space, with its revenue from this segment increasing 80% year over year last quarter.

The chipmaker is supplying connectivity chips and touch sensor solutions to automotive OEMs, which is a good thing as both these applications are set to expand rapidly. For instance, the connected car market is expected to reach 17% annual growth through 2027, while the demand for automotive touch screen control systems is expected to increase by 22.6 million units by 2025.

Qorvo is on track to take advantage of several fast-growing trends. What's more, the September stock market sell-off has made Qorvo stock even cheaper. The stock is trading at less than 22 times trailing earnings and just 14 times forward earnings, which is lower than the S&P 500's earnings multiple of 31. Given the terrific growth that Qorvo is seeing, buying this growth stock at its current valuation is a no-brainer.

Harsh Chauhan has no position in any of the articles mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple and Qorvo. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Qorvo Stock Quote
$93.98 (-0.24%) $0.23
Apple Stock Quote
$141.17 (-2.12%) $-3.05

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