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After spending the bulk of 2009 stuck with a four-star rank, enough top-performing CAPS members have recently turned bullish on Maxim Integrated Products (NASDAQ:MXIM) to have it revisiting five-star status. A total of 279 members have given their opinion on Maxim, with many of them offering analysis and commentary explaining the recent optimism.

Competing with other semiconductor heavyweights like Linear Technology, National Semiconductor (NYSE:NSM), and Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN), Maxim Integrated provides linear and mixed signal products serving major end-markets such as industrial, communications, consumer, and computing. Semiconductor stocks in general have been pushed higher lately as good news continues to flow from the Semiconductor Industry Association about global chip sales. The SIA expects third-quarter sales to come in about 5% higher than the second across all geographies and most end-market sectors. 

Maxim and other silicon-related companies like Micron Technology (NYSE:MU), SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK), and Rambus (NASDAQ:RMBS) have all scored healthy gains for their investors in recent months.

While CAPS members and media analysts don't always see eye-to-eye, many CAPS members weighing in on the semiconductor space appear to be siding with Jim Cramer lately on their outlook for stocks like Maxim and RF Micro Devices (NASDAQ:RFMD). Continued growth in mobile Internet devices and other smart products will help drive chip sales, and while Broadpoint.AmTech is taking a step back from the chip rally, it still likes Maxim's exposure to the industrial sector. With no long-term debt and a good track record of paying dividends and generating free cash flow, many CAPS members like Maxim's competitive position and growth potential.

Do you think Maxim deserves its raised status? Add your thoughts in the comments box below on this page, or head over to CAPS to rate the company and check out all the information and opinions the community offers, absolutely free.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock recently upgraded his green rating by opting for energy-saving socks to keep the feet warm. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Having already slept on the sidewalk to get the first iPhone, the Fool's disclosure policy can't wait to camp out for the next big thing.