Broadcom's Back on the Offensive

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you ever had doubts as to the "cutthroat" nature of some industries, you should look no further than the tech sector -- particularly in the semiconductors, where rivals want nothing more than to put each other out of business.

While you'll get no argument from me that Qualcomm ( QCOM) deserves to be considered as the gold standard among the group, it's nonetheless remarkable how quickly investors have hopped off the Broadcom ( BRCM) bandwagon.

I'm not going to blow smoke and tell you that all is well with the company. The recent 7% growth in the mobile/wireless business, which fell short of estimates by nearly 10%, shouldn't be ignored.

But I don't believe that this one quarter has now relegated Broadcom to the lower-tier chip class, which is occupied by (among others) Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD). And if Broadcom's recent acquisition serves as indication, the company fully intends to get on the offensive. It is also clear that under no certain terms does management plan to cede the mobile market to Qualcomm.

In a deal that went relatively unnoticed, Broadcom acquired LTE-related assets from affiliates of Renesas Electronics for $164 million. LTE, which stands for long-term evolution, is a communication standard for mobile devices, such as those produced by Apple ( AAPL) and Samsung ( SSNLF). Given the lack of attention that this deal has gotten, it seems as if the Street continues to underestimate this management team.

Essentially, Broadcom is gaining assets that are industry-tested and ready for volume production today. Not to mention, these included dual-core LTE SoC (system-on chips). What this means is that, although Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 continues to be the most widely used chip on the market, Broadcom's no longer just chopped liver. And management demonstrated strong confidence that it can harvest value from this transaction.

The Street, meanwhile, didn't share in the optimism. But given that these newly acquired LTE assets are already carrier-validated by leading global operators in North America, Japan and Europe, investors shouldn't discount the fact that Broadcom's ability to integrate circuit components onto a single chip has just meaningfully improved.

I appreciate that average selling prices of chips remain under pressure. I'm not suggesting that this deal is going to immediately Broadcom's fortune.

But even if this soft patch within the sector were to continue for a couple of more quarters, it's not unrealistic to expect that Broadcom will see a bottom eventually, if it hasn't already. And I believe it will be just a matter of time before the company regains its upper-tier status within the market.

I don't want to get too technical, but by virtue of this deal, there are also patents and applications that Broadcom will be able to use to leverage growth. It also seems that the Street completely missed management's comments about how this transaction will accelerate the pace at which Broadcom's first multimode platform becomes available.

With that in mind, although Qualcomm continues to dominate the sector with revenue growth of 35%, I believe Broadcom is now preparing to attack the market (particularly Qualcomm) in ways that we have not expected. Accordingly, it seems foolish to wait before taking a position in this stock, especially since shares are down more than 20% year-to-date on Qualcomm-domination fears.

Qualcomm's a great rival, yes. But investors take for granted that Broadcom also does well in the realm of networking, where one of its biggest customers includes Cisco ( CSCO). And that's not to mention that the company also generates revenue not only from both satellite and voice-over-IP (VoIP) components, but also from television set-top boxes.

Finally, it comes down to the fact that this company is extremely well managed and has a business that is also strategically diversified. At around $26 a share, I believe the stock is cheap. And as long as cash flow continues to rise in the mid-to-single digit range, Broadcom's stock can command a fair value of $35.

Qualcomm's still scoring, but the game is far from over.

At the time of publication, the author held no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Richard Saintvilus is a co-founder of StockSaints.com where he serves as CEO and editor-in-chief. After 20 years in the IT industry, including 5 years as a high school computer teacher, Saintvilus decided his second act would be as a stock analyst - bringing logic from an investor's point of view. His goal is to remove the complicated aspect of investing and present it to readers in a way that makes sense.

His background in engineering has provided him with strong analytical skills. That, along with 15 years of trading and investing, has given him the tools needed to assess equities and appraise value. Richard is a Warren Buffett disciple who bases investment decisions on the quality of a company's management, growth aspects, return on equity, and price-to-earnings ratio.

His work has been featured on CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, Forbes, Motley Fool and numerous other outlets.

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