There's no stopping Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ:SWKS) this year. Having gained close to 90% in 2014, and trading at multi-year highs, the chipmaker is looking to push the envelope further. Skyworks has placed itself in a terrific position to profit from high-growth markets such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and smartphones. Driven by clients such as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung, and IoT partners such as General Electric (NYSE:GE), Skyworks is set to go supersonic.
Better times ahead
As such, when the company delivered a classic beat-and-raise third-quarter report, it wasn't surprising. In fact, Skyworks' revenue jumped an impressive 35% year over year, while non-GAAP earnings shot up 54%. Things are expected to get even better in the fourth quarter. If Skyworks hits its guidance, its year-over-year revenue growth will stand at almost 43%, while earnings of $1.00 per share will be a remarkable improvement over last year's $0.64.
Going into the back end of the year, Skyworks management is optimistic about putting in a terrific performance. In fact, the company expects to grow at a faster rate than the broader analog semiconductor industry. Skyworks is seeing strong demand for its products on the back of an expanding portfolio, which is why it expects to deliver "above-market growth for the foreseeable future."
A look at Skyworks' product innovation and end-market prospects will make it clearer why the company is so optimistic about its future. First, it is leaving no stone unturned in tapping IoT. The company has a strong product portfolio, and it is making it better by investing in advanced switch architectures and sensors. Skyworks is focusing on IoT connectivity standards such as 802.11 Wi-Fi and ZigBee. Also, it is open to entering into partnerships to make the most of this market.
For example, Skyworks recently entered into a joint venture with Panasonic to develop high-performance filters that find application in electronic devices for signal processing and removing interference. Panasonic has around 412 filter patents, apart from other patent applications, which should benefit Skyworks. Additionally, Skyworks management expects the joint venture to add 100 basis points to its gross margin in the next fiscal year.
Skyworks, meanwhile, has also entered into partnerships with the likes of GE Medical, Boston Scientific, and Medtronic in the health care industry to tap IoT applications. The General Electric partnership might be the most important one of the lot, as the conglomerate is applying the Internet of Things to industrial applications, calling it the Industrial Internet. GE plans to integrate machine-to-machine connectivity across its industrial portfolio, including locomotives, medical devices, jet engines, turbines, etc.
GE has big plans for the Industrial Internet. It plans to boost GDP by $10 trillion-$15 trillion in the next 20 years by way of savings delivered through this channel. This will push up demand for filters that Skyworks manufactures, since these devices will need to communicate with each other.
The iPhone is coming
Apart from the Internet of Things, Skyworks is also benefiting from the smartphone war between Apple and Samsung. Earlier this year, the company's smartphone segment was driven by its design wins in Samsung's Galaxy S5 smartphone. Now, Skyworks is gearing up to supply chips for the next Samsung flagship. But, before that, it has another big catalyst coming up in the form of the iPhone 6.
Last year, Skyworks strengthened its position at Apple by taking away the main antenna switch slot from Peregrine Semiconductor, according to Canaccord Genuity. This year, Skyworks is expected to land strong content inside the iPhone once again. Canaccord Genuity believes that the company's diverse analog portfolio is driving content gains at handset makers, including Apple. If the company manages to land additional dollar content once again at Apple, it will see strong growth in revenue going forward.
Analysts estimate that Apple will sell 80 million iPhone 6 units in 2014, as the launch of a big-screen phone is expected to increase its market share. As such, a revolutionary product evolution at Apple is a catalyst that improves Skyworks' prospects.
Despite its terrific run this year, Skyworks is really cheap. The stock trades at just 14 times next year's earnings, which is quite low relative to its growth rate. Additionally, Skyworks boasts of a fine balance sheet with no debt and almost $900 million in cash. All in all, the stock still looks like a good investment as it can create new highs going forward.