The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, a measure of chip stock performance known as the 'SOX', dropped 2.5% on Thursday on dreary comments from KLA-Tencor's chief financial officer Bren Higgins.
"It feels [December quarter] like it will be up a little less than what we thought and we had indicated the second half of the company versus the first half from a shipment perspective," Higgins said at the Citi Global Technology Conference according to a transcript. "From a shipment perspective it would be flat to up low single digits, and I think right now given what I see today, it's probably flat to down a few single digits or so."
Higgins' comments, and vicious market reaction, should remind investors to stick with the strongest names in tech right now. Think companies with dominating market positions and lots of cash, such as the tech king Apple (AAPL - Get Report) .
"We think Apple is positioned to sustain mid single digit sales and low teens earnings per share growth even in a muted iPhone unit growth environment, driven by services and capital allocation," said RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani in a new note. "We see the upcoming iPhone cycle resulting in healthy volume growth even though average selling prices might see some headwinds year over year due to tough comparisons. Importantly, we think the cycle will help the install base, enabling continued services growth."
To be a profitable investor and build long-term wealth, you need the right information and techniques. Join TheStreet Oct. 13 for a special investing event for sophisticated and active traders. Register for "Invest Like the Pros: Jim Cramer's Boot Camp for Investors" here.