Microchip Technology

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You've probably used a product from Microchip Technology ( MCHP) without even realizing it. The $7.6 billion firm makes products that are used in everything from remote controls to electric motors -- essentially any product that uses electronics falls within MCHP's target market.

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The microcontroller business is crowded, so to compete, MCHP went simple. The firm started targeting an even lower side of the market, eschewing the more complex side of the business where rivals are clustering, and opting instead to sell massive quantities of microcontrollers that perform mundane tasks. The chips are cheap to make and that drives double-digit net profit margins for Microchip.

It's also driven a $1 billion net cash position on the firm's books that effectively erases 15% of the risk from MCHP's shares, and puts the firm in a better position for a dividend hike. I'll admit that MCHP is a bit of a "gimme" when it comes to hiking payouts -- the firm's policy has it boosting its dividend by a small amount each quarter. Still, tacking small increases onto a 35.4-cent quarterly payout shouldn't be ignored. Currently, MCHP's dividend adds up to a generous 3.65% yield.

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