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2 Tech Growth Stocks That Bucked the Sell-Off

By Chris Kuiper, CFA - Sep 2, 2015 at 3:11PM

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These two tech companies were up while the rest of the market crashed.

The stock market had a rough week last week, and continued to sell-off early this week. Although markets began to stabilize, there still remains some uncertainty about the short-term outlook. However, there were two tech stocks that fought last week's sell-off and actually posted a solid week: Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ: SWKS) and Mobileye N.V. (NYSE: MBLY).

Everyone loves a great bull market, which is what we've had the past few years. The only downside is that investors don't know if market participants are buying up a stock because it's a great company or because they're buying everything indiscriminately.

It's only when the tide goes out that you can see which companies investors are sticking with. For Skyworks and Mobileye, both price and volume were up on Monday, even while everything else was being sold.

Skyworks: riding the 4G LTE trend
You probably have multiple devices that use Skyworks' chips. The chipmaker's high-performance radio frequency, analog, and mixed-signal semiconductors are found in smartphones, tablets, GPS devices, cars, and even medical, industrial, and military applications.

It's also an Apple supplier. Skyworks doesn't disclose what percentage of its revenue comes from Apple, but analysts have estimated it could be as high as one-third. So with China potentially slowing, and Apple's stock falling, why did Skyworks not decline as well?

The market was spooked by fears of a general slowdown in China, but the region only comprises 20-25% of Skyworks' revenue. Some have assumed that revenue from China is greater than 80%, but that's probably a result of using sales figures related to electronic manufacturing and assembling customers in China, not end customers.

Apple's potential growth slowdown is a risk, but the beauty of Skyworks is that it's largely agnostic when it comes to brand -- it doesn't matter whether it's an Apple, Samsung, or Chinese branded smartphone, as long as there are Skyworks chips inside.

The non-mobile business is approximately 25% of revenue, giving the company some diversification of revenue as well.

Related is the concern that saturation is slowing smartphone growth. But Skyworks has been focusing its product differentiation on the high end of 4G LTE chips, so the bigger driver of growth is not necessarily smartphone growth but the transition to 4G, as those chips carry a higher price tag and a fatter profit margin -- not to mention Skyworks gets 3 to 4 times more content in 4G phones. Remember that 4G is still relatively new in China. Only 19% of China's mobile users are on 4G, which leaves a massive runway of growth ahead -- over 1 billion mobile users, to be exact!

Skyworks has shown impressive growth, with sales up 38% last quarter on a year-over-year basis. With a P/E ratio of around 22 times current earnings and 18 times forward earnings, it appears to be a reasonably priced stock, especially given its high growth. Investors will get a small dividend to boot, currently yielding approximately 1.2%.

Mobileye: autonomous cars for today and tomorrow
Mobileye is an Israeli-based designer of chips and software used in vehicles for driver assistance and collision avoidance systems. The company has a long-term goal of using its technology to bring completely driverless cars into reality, but in the meantime it's already selling technology to help with "semi-autonomous" applications such as back-up cameras and obstacle and lane detection.

Unlike Google or other tech companies, Mobileye is one of the only pure plays for autonomous vehicles. Current customers include many of the top-tier auto manufacturers, including General Motors, Ford, BMW, and Hyundai, and it's working with Tesla Motors and GM to develop self-driving cars.

Mobileye has also been putting up remarkable growth figures. Sales last quarter were up 57% year over year, exceeding expectations, and its three-year revenue growth has been over 90%. Like Skyworks, Mobileye appears to have a long runway for growth, as cars will increasingly become more autonomous.

Further, cars are incrementally becoming more autonomous, which is where Mobileye has an advantage. From cruise control to today's cars that can parallel-park themselves or apply the brakes when approaching an obstacle, cars have been slowly moving toward automation, though it's unlikely they'll become completely driverless overnight. Mobileye's products are being used for semi-autonomous applications already, and they're much cheaper than the $100,000 components found in Google's driverless car.

Two great tech growth names but with different risk profiles
Market routs are never fun, especially one as severe as we saw last week. But they do provide investors with valuable information -- namely, we find out which companies investors have so much conviction in that they won't be selling them along with everything else.

Both Skyworks and Mobileye are great tech growth names, and both play on big tech trends with long runways. Skyworks gives investors a larger company with a broader portfolio of products, growth at a reasonable price, and even a dividend. Mobileye is a bit riskier as a smaller pure play, but it has exciting prospects. In either case, both of these names deserve a spot on your watchlist.

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Stocks Mentioned

Skyworks Solutions, Inc. Stock Quote
Skyworks Solutions, Inc.
$108.71 (3.99%) $4.17
Mobileye N.V. Stock Quote
Mobileye N.V.

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