NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As per U.S-based Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), global chip sales in January rose 14% to $25.5 billion from a year ago. The growth, which was recorded the highest U.S. with sales growth of 25% year-over-year, was mainly led by the high usage of chips in a wide range of products.

The SIA expects single-digit growth for the industry in 2011. However, the U.S. is expected to track double-digit growth on SIA's continuous efforts to increase chip production in the country, as these chips is a critical element of the overall technology industry.

The industry is trading at a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 18.8 with a return-on-equity (ROE) of 14.8%, and a dividend yield of 2.73%. In 2010, year-over-year sales grew 50% and 44% to the industrial and automotive sectors, respectively.

Analysts expect these nine semiconductor stocks to generate lucrative returns for investors over the next 12 months. These stocks have 14% to 74% upside with strong buy, hold ratings.
9. KLA-Tencor ( KLAC) designs, manufactures, supplies and markets process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related nano-electronics industries. The company's products find application in high-brightness light-emitting diodes (HBLED), data storage and photovoltaic industries, as well as general materials research.

Of the 16 analysts covering the stock, 44% rated a buy while 50% advised a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 12.4% to $50.7 in the upcoming 12 months.

For the second quarter ending Dec. 31, 2010, the company reported revenue increase of 74.1% to $766 million from the year-ago quarter. Net income multiplied to $185 million, or $1.09 per share, compared to $22 million, or 13 cents, in the year-ago quarter. In February, the company's board of directors authorized the repurchase of an additional 10 million shares of its outstanding common stock. In March, KLA-Tencor paid a quarterly cash dividend of 25 cents per share.

For third quarter of 2011, the company estimates revenue in the range of $780 to $830 million while non-GAAP earnings per share are expected between $1.15 and $1.30, beating analysts' expectations.

If you liked this article you might like

Today's Strong And Under The Radar Stock: FEI (FEIC)

More Momentum Seen for Thermo Fisher

Thermo Fisher Acquisition of FEI Brings "Terrific Complementarity" While FEI Is a Sell

Thermo Fisher To Buy FEI for $4.2B in Cash

FEI (FEIC) Stock Skyrockets on $4.2 Billion Thermo Fisher Acquisition, Jim Cramer's Take