There are conflicting reports of the semiconductor sector's health. Who do you believe?
Chip maker Altera
CEO John Daane made it out to be an industrywide slowdown. "We continue to believe that these factors, plus ongoing FPGA share gains, give us the potential over time for sales growth twice that of the semiconductor industry," he said. Translated into plain English, he's saying that Altera will do much better than your average chip designer, but sales are still going down. If a supposed leader sinks, then the sector must be in deep trouble.
Contrast that view with the signals coming out of industry giants Intel
And if you think that these reports are inappropriate as guideposts for Altera's specialized programmable chips, consider direct competitor Xilinx
So we have one company expecting headwinds, while peers and sector neighbors put up their sails to enjoy gusts pushing them forward instead. Management wants you to believe that the industry is holding Altera back, but there's little evidence for that opinion. Rather, it looks like Altera doesn't want to admit to losing market share.
The wireless industry is the main driver of Altera's business, but should your portfolio really rely on a company that's losing market share while management says that everything is just fine? Fool analysts can point you to at least 3 other chip stocks that also appear primed to thrive from this same trend. Click here to access The Fool's free report detailing its best ideas of how to play the mobile boom.