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), the $14 billion data storage firm. SanDisk is one of the biggest firms in the flash memory market, a corner of the computer storage industry that's been ballooning in size as demand from mobile devices continues to expand quickly. SanDisk's revenue streams include retail and OEM sales as well as licensing fees earned from other memory makers that want to use SNDK's portfolio of patents.
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That patent portfolio gives SNDK some big advantages -- it means that the firm benefits from the overall growth of the NAND flash memory market, regardless of who's manufacturing the memory. Flash has some major plusses over conventional hard disk drives; it's faster, lighter, uses few moving parts, and it's impervious to bumps and shocks. Since flash memory is projected to continue to grow in popularity as pricing comes down, that's a huge advantage for SNDK.
A large net cash position helps to reduce some of the risk in shares of SNSK. The firm currently carries around 10% of its market capitalization in net cash, a major advantage over less-flush peers. While SNDK is far from a deep value name at current price levels, it's another name that's shown stellar relative strength this year.
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-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.
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