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4 Best Semiconductor Stocks to Buy Now We know all about the chip shortages, and if you haven't sunk some money into a semiconductor stock, your FOMO could be real. Let's dive into four semiconductor stocks to...

By Melissa Brock

This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

Depositphotos.com contributor/Depositphotos.com - MarketBeat

So, electronic devices saw unprecedented upheaval as soon as the COVID-19 reared its ugly head. A combination of record demand in many sectors (automobiles, consumer electronics, and more) threw supply chain issues as a major wrench into the mix.

Companies and consumers use semiconductors, which are small conductors of electricity called semis or chips, and they go into thousands of types of devices — think cars, smartphones, appliances, machinery in medicine, and more. Companies across the world work to make semiconductors more streamlined and powerful.

  • Microprocessors: A microprocessor is a component that performs the instructions and tasks that occur in computer processing. It contains arithmetic, logic, and control circuitry.
  • Memory chips: Memory chips store data or process code through an integrated circuit through the use of millions of capacitors and transistors.
  • Commodity integrated circuits: Simple chips like commodity integrated circuits are used to perform repetitive processing routines, typically in single-purpose appliances like barcode scanners.

You'll find an endless variety of trading and investment opportunities in semiconductor stocks, and semiconductor ETFs also offer a great way to gain exposure to the sector.

4 Semiconductor Stocks: Consider Adding These to Your Portfolio

Think you're ready to buy in this sector? Let's take a look at three semiconductor stocks to sink your teeth into.

United Microelectronics (NYSE: UMC)

United Microelectronics Corp., headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, produces metal-oxide-semiconductor logic wafers, mixed-signal wafers, radiofrequency complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor wafers, embedded memory products, high voltage integrated circuits, and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor image sensors.

Q4 2021 consolidated revenue was $2.14 billion, which increased 5.7% quarter over quarter from Q3 2021. Total 2021 revenue rose by more than 20% year-over-year and operating income reached a record high, driven by a surge in the company's 28nm business.

The consolidated gross margin for Q4 2021 was 39.1% and net income attributable to the shareholders was $576 million.

Into Q1 2022, the company anticipates a rise in demand across UMC's markets. The company specializes in differentiated specialty technologies, manufacturing excellence, and capacity expansions.

United Microelectronics Corp. was awarded the Taiwan Intellectual Property Management System (TIPS) certification, Taiwan's official IP management benchmark for enterprises, and the company has made a commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

Camtek Ltd. (NASDAQ: CAMT)

Camtek Ltd., headquartered in Migdal Haemek, Israel, manufactures metrology and inspection equipment and handles advanced packaging, memory, complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor image sensors, micro-electro-mechanical systems radio frequency, and others. The company offers yield enhancement data and provides tailor-made solutions for customers.

In Q4 2021, Camtek Ltd. recorded quarterly revenues of $74.2 million, a 53% increase year-over-year as well as GAAP operating income of $19.3 million and non-GAAP operating income of $20.9 million, a margin of 26% and 28.2%, respectively.

For the full year 2021, Camtek Ltd. had record annual revenues of $269.7 million, a 73% increase year-over-year, record GAAP operating income of $70.9 million, and non-GAAP operating income of $76.7 million, a margin of 26.3% and 28.4%, respectively.

Monolithic Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: MPWR)

Monolithic Power Systems Inc., headquartered in Kirkland, Washington, designs, develops, and markets integrated power semiconductor solutions and power delivery architectures toward the following application markets:

  • Computing and storage
  • Automotive
  • Industrial
  • Communications

The company converts and controls voltages of various electronic systems, such as portable electronic devices, wireless LAN access points, computers and notebooks, monitors, infotainment applications, and medical equipment. It also handles lighting control ICs for backlighting in systems, which provides the light source for LCD panels in notebook computers, monitors, car navigation systems, and televisions as well as for general illumination products.

At the end of Q4 2021, revenue was $336.5 million for the quarter, a 4% increase from $323.5 million from Q3 2021. GAAP gross margin was 57.6% for the quarter ended December 31, 2021. GAAP operating income was $78.6 million for Q4 compared with $40 million for Q4 2020.

The end of the year showed revenue at $1,207.8 million, a 43% increase from $844.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. GAAP gross margin was 56.8% for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared with 55.2% for Q4 2020. GAAP operating income was $262.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2021, compared with $158.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2020.

Analog Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: ADI)

Analog Devices Inc., headquartered in Wilmington, Massachusetts, is a global high-performance semiconductor company that designs, develops, manufactures, and markets integrated circuits (ICs). It produces data converters, amplifiers, linear products, radio frequency (RF) ICs, power management products, sensors based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology, and other sensors. It also produces processing products, including DSP and other processors.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2022, the company saw $2.68 billion with double-digit year-over-year growth across all end markets. It had an operating cash flow of $3.16 billion and a free cash flow of $2.78 billion or 33% of revenue on a trailing 12-month basis. The company completed a $2.5 billion accelerated share repurchase program. Analog Devices Inc. also announced a 10% dividend increase, marking its 19th raise in the past 18 years

The company's president and CEO announced momentum across the entire company, highlighting a commitment to finding solutions and to operational excellence, including high-performance analog, mixed-signal, and power technologies that are increasingly vital to customers' digitalization journeys.

Consider Semiconductor Stocks

Semiconductor stocks can be viable plays whether you're looking for long- or short-term growth, thanks to the strong demand for semiconductor chips. With continued growing sales in the industry, you may also want to consider an ETF for a diversified experience, such as the iShares Semiconductor ETF, which can give you exposure to technology ETFs in this particular market segment.

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