Pokemon Go, the augmented reality (AR) game, which uses a smartphone's camera to overlay Pokemon characters on the player's surroundings, has been downloaded 7.5 million times in the U.S. alone since its July 6 launch.
If you're looking to profit from Pokemon Go, you're too late. The game's developers, Niantic (spun off last year by Alphabet) and the Pokemon Company, aren't publicly traded and Nintendo, which has stakes in both companies, has already stormed upward in recent days and may be nearing its ceiling.
That's where Qualcomm (QCOM) - Get QUALCOMM Incorporated Report comes in. The chipmaker makes the Snapdragon 820 processor, released last year and now powering smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S7-which is outselling the Apple iPhone 6S in the U.S., the HTC 10 and the Xperia X from Sony. It offers strong long-range growth prospects in an industry that is has huge potential.
Shares fell slightly in Friday trading. It releases earnings Wednesday.
According to a June report from Credence Research, the AR market will grow at a double-digit compound annual rate between 2016 and 2023, when it will be worth more than $95 billion.
In a moment, I'll show you a stock that's poised to gain as AR takes off, plus a simple but little-known investment strategy that delivers steady profits in any market.
Qualcomm's's strong position in mobile processors nicely sets it up to profit as AR and its cousin, virtual reality, take off. Last month it said it would support Alphabet's Tango AR platform on its 600- and 800-series processors.
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Tango uses three cameras on a smartphone to sense motion, measure depth, map the inside of a room and pinpoint where the device is in a given space. That gives it big potential for design, gaming and education. Right now, just one device is Tango-enabled, the Lenovo Phab2 Pro, but Qualcomm's thumbs-up will speed up the rollout.
AR's potential is a bright spot in what's been a rough couple of years for Qualcomm. In early 2015, Samsung decided not to use its Snapdragon 810 processor in the Galaxy S6, and the company has also seen smartphone sales slow as the market becomes saturated. Patent-licensing woes in China also dented its profits.
Fast-forward to today, and its turnaround is starting to show promise. It won Samsung back in time for the 820 to be included in the S7, and it recently signed licensing deals with major Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi, Huawei and ZTE.
Meanwhile, the company's high research spending ($5.5 billion, or 22% of 2015 revenue) is helping it tap into other fast-growing areas, like connected cars and the Internet of Things.
Qualcomm's turnaround will be clearer in its forthcoming earnings. Analysts expect earnings per share of $0.97, which is below last year's EPS of $0.99. However, the company has a strong history of upside surprises, topping estimates in the last four quarters by an average of 9.8%.
But even if it takes a while longer for the turnaround to show in Qualcomm's bottom line, its $0.53 quarterly dividend, which yields 3.9% annualized, will make it worth the wait. The company isn't stingy about dividend hikes, either, having raised the payout by 112% in the past five years.
The stock is a bargain, with a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 15.6, compared to 22.5 for its industry.
If you're looking for a way to build sustainable wealth from AR and other burgeoning tech trends, consider Qualcomm. You can bet it will still be churning out innovative products and regular dividend hikes long after everyone's forgotten Pokemon Go.
As I just explained, Qualcomm is a great play on the rise of augmented reality, but it's still working through a turnaround, and many ups and downs could lie ahead. If you'd like to stay away from Qualcomm and all stocks for now, consider the easy strategy I've found. It lets you earn a guaranteed $67,548 a year without buying a single stock. Best of all, it only takes 9 minutes a week! Click here to unlock the secret now.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.