Texas Instruments (TXN -1.17%) has a plan to give shareholders exactly what they want -- more money. Texas Instruments' execution of its short-term business strategy could influence shareholders, along with several major chipmakers across the globe.
According to Reuters, Texas Instruments chief financial officer, Kevin March, announced today that his company will transform up to 30% of its revenue into free cash flow. Texas Instruments is expanding its capital management policy as well, which could help make its stock much more appealing to investors.
"Our capital management strategy reflects our beliefs that free cash flow growth is most important to maximizing shareholder value in the long term," March told Reuters.
How has Texas Instruments performed lately?
Texas Instruments' profits have increased steadily over the past year. Between the fourth quarters of 2012 and 2013, the chipmaker's profits rose from $264 million to $511 million . In addition, Texas Instruments' annual revenue jumped 2% to $3.3 billion last year, and the company has implemented several cost-cutting measures that could help it save around $130 million per year going forward.
Texas Instruments also continues to innovate. Recently, Texas Instruments unveiled the SimpleLink Bluetooth modules, which are only a handful of the many innovative products that the company plans to release this year. As Texas Instruments launches new products, its profits, and the pressure on its rivals, could rise.
What are other chipmakers planning for 2014?
While Texas Instruments is doing whatever it can to attract new shareholders, and keep current shareholders happy, rival chipmakers Intel (INTC -1.16%) and ASML Holding N.V. (ASML -0.27%) are under pressure.
Intel, the world's largest chipmaker by volume, is forecasting its third consecutive year of flat sales in 2014. Stacy Smith, Intel's CFO, also said that she anticipates thousands of layoffs in the near future, which could prove costly for the company and its shareholders.
ASML, meanwhile, is ready to take a step forward. The Dutch microelectronics provider watched its net income, net sales and net bookings increase between the third and fourth quarters of 2013. This company's strong fourth-quarter performance shows that it's prepared to deal with the rapidly increasing demand for its microelectronics, and bodes well for its shareholders.
"The fourth quarter showed our operational capability to respond to strong demand. Combined with an increased contribution from services and options, this resulted in record quarterly sales," ASML President Peter Wennink said.
What should you expect from these companies' stocks?
Technology stocks are often high-risk, high-reward propositions, but there are plenty of good reasons to consider investments in Texas Instruments and ASML, and to avoid Intel.
With Texas Instruments, now may be the best time to buy. This chipmaker's stock is poised to make a major jump soon, thanks in part to the company's announcement about its desire to give more money back to its shareholders.
Conversely, Intel is in cost-cutting mode, which could mean steep profit declines and revenue losses. In fact, Intel is preparing to eliminate more than 400 IT jobs by mid-April, one of several ways the company hopes to reduce its operating expenses this year.
Like Texas Instruments, ASML is a good bet for short-term gains. ASML anticipates a gross margin of roughly 42% in the first quarter of 2014 and intends to increase its dividend by 15%, making it a strong bet for technology investors.