Cirrus Logic, Inc. (CRUS), IPG Photonics Corporation (IPGP), KLA-Tencor Corporation (KLAC): The Four Best Electronics Stocks for Your Money

Cirrus Logic, Inc.For investors looking to benefit from the next phase of the smartphone proliferation era, or the expansion of other cutting-edge technologies for that matter, this article may serve as a guide. Indeed, an evaluation of the most attractive electronics stocks at this juncture with the assistance of the CAPS Community Screener turned up several semiconductor-related companies, along with a laser and amplifier company and a contract manufacturer. The parameters utilized in narrowing the list to four included the following:

1. A long-term debt-to-equity ratio of less than 0.5

2. A three-year-average revenue growth rate greater than 10%

3. A mid-capitalization market value (between $1 billion and $10 billion)

4. A three-year-average EPS growth rate greater than 10%

5. A price-to-earnings multiple that is < 20.0

Here’s an overview of the key aspects shared by all stocks in this group:

Symbol Company Name LT Debt-to-Equity Ratio Rev. Growth Rate (last 3 Yrs) Market Capitalization EPS Growth Rate (last 3 Yrs) Price-to-Earnings (TTM)
CRUS Cirrus Logic 0 39.89 $1.27 B 15.79 9.1
IPGP IPG Photonics 0.02 31.87 $3.01 B 61.54 20
KLAC KLA-Tencor 0.22 14.29 $9.68 B 32.7 18.2
SWKS Skyworks Solutions 0 16.84 $4.55 B 15.17 18.5

A discussion of each company’s respective statistics should help determine the one best suited for your portfolio.

Trends are positive for this audio/energy-entrenched chip maker

Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS), a producer of analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits, is focused primarily on consumer end-markets. These include audio, automotive entertainment, and portable devices like smartphones, tablets, as well as computers. Audio products contributed 93% of total revenue in 2012.

The company also operates a modestly sized energy-products division that caters to energy control, energy measurement, LED lighting, and energy-exploration applications. One example of its products’ use is in digital utility meters.

A more-than-doubling of audio-products revenue in fiscal 2013 (ended March 31) served to lift Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS)’ three-year average revenue growth rate to 40%. Launches of new offerings targeted at portable audio markets assisted the massive upturn. Resulting share-earnings growth was nearly 16% on an annual basis.

Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS)’ largest customer is none other than Apple, from which 82% of total revenue was derived in 2013. Management believes it can boost operating income at a 20% annual clip and revenue 15% per year over the long term.

In light of the stock’s reduced P/E ratio (trailing-12 months) of 9.1 and its clean balance sheet with no debt, Cirrus Logic, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRUS) shares offer an upside opportunity.

A booming laser technologies market

The second company that passed the screen was IPG Photonics Corporation (NASDAQ:IPGP), a maker of high-performance lasers and related products that are predominantly used for materials processing. Indeed, 87% of sales were in the materials market last year, particularly to general manufacturing, automotive, heavy industry, aerospace, consumer, and semiconductor/electronics customers. Another 8% was utilized for “advanced applications,” while 4% of sales were for communications purposes, and 1% was medical-related.

IPG Photonics Corporation (NASDAQ:IPGP)’s 32% revenue growth and 32% EPS growth rate jump off the page and the momentum, driven by the capturing of share in the materials market, remains positive. In fact, revenue and EPS climbed 22% and 11%, respectively, in the June period.

The company’s investments in R&D are bearing fruit, as its developments are often being incorporated in manufacturing processes as replacements for traditional materials. I liken the company to DuPont, a major Dow-30 component, due to that focus.

The company’s shares, at a trailing P/E of 20.0, have been erratic. The shares may well gain positive headway, given favorable earnings prospects in the near term.