Earlier this month, President Donald Trump blocked Broadcom Ltd.'s (AVGO) $117 billion bid to takeover San Diego-based chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) in an move that the White House attributed to national security concerns. While the stock has dropped off 20% since highs reached in November on the deal's announcement, a handful of analysts are upbeat on the chip stock, expecting above-average returns and little volatility within the next 12 to 18 months, even as prospects look dimmer for the beaten-down tech sector. (See also: JPM Warns Customers Against Tech Stocks.)
In an interview with CNBC, Washington Crossing Advisors' Chad Morganlander called Qualcomm a "value play." He indicated that the firm's upbeat outlook is "about the assets," as well as expectations that the chipmaker will "iron out" its dispute with iPhone maker Apple Inc. (AAPL). Suppliers have been fighting to win contracts with the Cupertino, California-based tech giant and rival Samsung Electronics Co. for critical cellular components as they hedge against declines in legacy PC and data center businesses.
Morganlander expects the global semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company to post above-market returns within the next year and a half as downside selling pressure seen over the past several weeks subsides. The analyst noted that while Broadcom's bid was shut down, Qualcomm remains an acquisition target, but will most likely be taken over by a domestic competitor. Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported that Intel Corp. (INTC) could make a bid for Qualcomm as it diversifies its business and plays catch-up in the mobile segment.
Chipmaker to Gain on 5G Adoption
"I love Qualcomm," added Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, indicating that "every mobile device has a Qualcomm chip." He sees "tremendous upside" in shares on the move to 5G technology, which he expects to be a “massively positive" tidal wave for the company. 5G, the next generation of wireless technology, is set to drastically increase internet speeds, causing a major uptick in upgrades that should work to boost demand for Qualcomm components, according to Schlossberg. The analyst dubbed Qualcomm "the best bargain out there."
QCOM closed up 1.3% on Thursday at $55.41, reflecting a 13.5% loss year-to-date (YTD) and a 3.4% decline over the most recent 12 months, underperforming the S&P 500, which has lost 1.2% of its value in 2018 and has gained 11.9% over a year. (See also: Megadeals Push Global Takeovers Past $1.2 Trillion.)