It's no secret anymore: The semiconductor industry is in the midst of one of the most adrenaline-packed rebounds any business sector has ever seen.
For the record, Intel's fourth quarter included 28% year-over-year sales growth, the fattest gross margins in the company's history, and nearly 10 times the net earnings seen a year ago.
Adding fuel to the fire, the combined figures from independent market researchers Gartner and IDC’s fourth-quarter reports show a 25% annual improvement in unit shipments of personal computers in the United States. Hewlett-Packard
And the usual suspects of Wall Street generally agree that chip stocks make up a hot sector right now. Broadpoint AmTech analyst Doug Freedman rates both Intel and Advanced Micro Devices
Elsewhere, JPMorgan Chase analyst Chris Danely casts a bit more of a dour note. He believes Texas Instruments
Overall, Danely notes that the chip sector as a whole will probably end up making too many chips, overcorrecting to stay ahead of renewed end-market demand. And he sees some sector consolidation coming down the line as financing is possible once again and business results are back to normal. I've got a hunch on what Mr. Danely is talking about here. NVIDIA
Right now, it's harder to find clunkers and easier to find fine investment opportunities in the semiconductor sector. What's your favorite chip stock? Share the wealth in the comments box below.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in AMD, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection, and Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on it. Apple and NVIDIA are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.