Shares of chip (silicon, not potato) giant Texas Instruments
But the boost didn't last long. TI gave the entire jump back on Tuesday as analyst comments on the quarter started pouring in. It's a pretty unanimous chorus of “hold” ratings, except the mavericks of Nomura sticking to their “sell” opinion. But even Nomura stayed close to the pack with a $30 price target -- a 7% difference between current and targeted prices doesn't exactly call for a short-sale.
Yes sir, we can waffle
So the consensus is clear: Neither a leader nor a follower be. TI is not valued for perfection but to perfection here. Only, I don't think that's quite right.
You see, TI CEO Rich Templeton said that “our business cycle bottomed in the first quarter, and early signs of growth began to emerge.” Orders are up and the backlog is growing; the all-important book-to-bill ratio bounced back from 0.84 last quarter to 1.04 this time. In the manufacturing-centric semiconductor industry, anything over 1.0 means that the company is receiving orders faster than they can be filled. That's a great sign for future revenue collections.
Keep in mind that TI likes to hand out conservative guidance. Management even issues mid-quarter guidance updates to keep investors abreast of upcoming results -- and TI crushed the latest update by a good margin. It's not the kind of company that would blow rose-colored smoke in your eyes. When these guys say that there's a turnaround coming, I tend to believe them.
Time for a turnaround?
In other words, the current situation is a snapshot at the bottom of a plunge and not a picture of how bad things are staying for the foreseeable future.
Moreover, TI has a massive customer base where no customer accounts for more than “a mid-single-digit percentage” of sales. That's the polar opposite of a Cirrus Logic
That makes TI an unusually reliable barometer for the entire technology market and, by extension, consumer appetites in general. When times are good in Texas, they're about to get better across the country too. If TI's signals are correct -- and I believe that they are -- high-quality stocks you buy today should skyrocket when the Presidential election rolls around. I have a CAPScall saying that Texas Instruments will be one of them.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of and a written strangle on OmniVision but holds no other position in any of the companies mentioned. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cirrus Logic and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.