Judging from Wall Street's reaction to Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) earnings report, you might think all semiconductor companies are in disfavor right now. Not so. Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Silicon Labs (NASDAQ:SLAB), which is up an average of 28% across its three recommendations in the newsletter, did even better over the past year -- rising 47% in 52 weeks.

Can its winning streak continue? Tune in tomorrow morning to find out. In the meantime, here's what we know so far.

Wall Street Wisdom:

  • General consensus. While investors seem to like Silicon Labs, the mood on the Street itself is decidedly bearish. Of the 15 analysts who follow the stock, only four rate it a "buy," with the rest advising that you either hold or sell.
  • Revenues. Analysts took Silicon Labs' prediction of Q4 revenues of $104 million to $108 million, added those numbers, and divided by two to come up with an estimate of $106 million for the quarter. If they're right, that will be an 11% increase over last year.
  • Earnings. Profits are another story. The consensus estimate calls for just a penny more earned this quarter than last -- $0.26 per share in all.

Margin watch:
The main reason profits aren't thought to have kept pace with revenues: margins. Silicon Labs' gross margin has held reasonably steady for quite some time, but operating and net margins have suffered severe degradation in recent quarters.

Marg.

7/04

10/04

1/04

4/05

7/05

10/05

Gross

54.4%

54.8%

54.8%

54.6%

54.7%

54.4%

Op.

27%

26.8%

24.2%

22.9%

20.7%

18.1%

Net

17.9%

18%

16.8%

16.6%

15.6%

11%

All data courtesy of Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data reflects trailing-12-month performance for the quarters ending in the named months.

Taking inventory:
The usual mark of a bad business is that even when sales fall, inventories and accounts receivable continue to rise. Not so with Silicon Labs. Sales have been down year over year for four quarters running, but accounts receivable declined in tandem. After an initial disconnect, inventories fell as well over the past two quarters. Keep a close eye on this tomorrow. With the expected sales rise, we'd be happy to see inventories go up as well -- just not by too much.

Competitors:
Competitors include Agere (NYSE:AGR), Infineon (NYSE:IFX), and Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN).

Seeking more great stocks with market-walloping performance? Let David and Tom Gardner's Motley Fool Stock Advisor chip in two new ideas every month. Sign up today for a 30-day free trial.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above.