MediaTek Vice Chairman and President Hsieh Ching-Jiang said Friday that the Taiwanese chip maker would seek acquisitions in the automotive sector, a market in which NXP is a leader. Qualcomm's revenue from autos and other Internet of Things segments will grow from $1.9 billion to $10.2 billon, the company said, representing close to 30% of a post-merger top line of $35 billion.
NXP has been a holding in Action Alerts PLUS since the beginning of this year and the company is the trust's No. 1 ranked stock within its value index. AAP has held a "Buy" (One) rating and $110 price target since initiation.
"It's already causing [Qualcomm's] biggest wireless competitor to look at possible acquisitions in the space to make their portfolio look more like Qualcomm," Drexel Hamilton analyst Cody Acree said.
Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf underscored the importance of the automotive market when announcing the purchase of NXP, telling investors that the car is analogous to where the handset was in 2000. "Just as feature phones turned very quickly into smart phones as we drove processing content memories features applications, we're going to be seeing a similar pace of technology growth in autos," Acree said.Qualcomm is already the leader in wireless chips, which account for more than 60% of its roughly $25 billion in sales today, and would shrink to 48% of post-merger revenues.
"The big opportunity for Qualcomm is clearly to apply its hard-won mobile expertise to related adjacent markets where growth is now much higher -- especially automotive, the broader Internet of Things and networking," John Abbott 451 Research co-founder wrote in an email.
A combined Qualcomm and NXP will be the leader in automotive and Internet of Things chips, Abbott said. NXP has a strong position car entertainment systems, secure car access, in-vehicle networking and safety, he added, while Qualcomm has multimedia, machine learning, advanced neural networks known as deep learning, computer vision and other autonomous driving technology.
The big picture includes advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS, and self-driving cars. "Across automotive [NXP has] a very broad footprint, including in-vehicle networking, radar, safety systems, so they're a big part of ADAS systems today, which we think evolve into the core blocks of autonomous driving cars in the future," Qualcomm President Derek Aberle said in a statement provided by the company.Aside from NXP, 451 Research's Abbott said, the biggest automotive chip suppliers include Tokyo-based Renesas; Germany's Infineon, which acquired International Rectifier for $3 billion last year; and Swiss outfit STMicroelectronics ( STM - Get Report) . Other players include Bosch, Texas Instruments ( TI - Get Report) , ON Semiconductor ( ON - Get Report) and Microchip ( MCHP - Get Report) .
"It's still a very fragmented market," Abbott said.
Nvidia develops chips for machine learning and deep learning. Intel is "looking in the same direction," Abbott said, with its $16.7 billion purchase of Altera, the acquisition of startup Movidius and other moves.
The candidates to develop software platforms for autonomous cars include Apple (AAPL - Get Report) , Alphabet's (GOOGL - Get Report) Google, Nvidia and BlackBerry (BBRY) subsidiary QNX. "There's no dominant platform yet," Abbott said.
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