Shift Into 5G Could Fuel a Rally in These 3 Stocks

The tech world is in the midst of a shake-up. Since the end of 2017, the new 5G wireless technology has been moving forward, bringing with it a combination of faster connection speeds and lower latency, and the promise of great changes in how we connect to the online world. New technologies – connected automobiles and agile IoT come to mind – would not be possible without 5G.Investment research firm HSBC Global, in a recent report on the advent of 5G tech, takes up the questions of whether the new networking is a boom or a bust. Specifically, HSBC asks why 5G has been underwhelming – so far. Industry expert Professor William Webb notes that 5G’s rollout has not lived up to the hype, even in Asia where networks are more extensive and better integrated. He describes the technology as ‘evolutionary, not revolutionary.’Webb points out several areas where 5G clearly needs further evolution: the expansion of networks, which will necessitate further buildouts of towers and cells; smoother transitions between cells; and improved functionality, once devices are connected. In his view, 5G is a beginning rather than an end.Commenting on Webb’s views, and on the technology generally, HSBC’s Head of Telecoms Neale Anderson, writes, “[We] see it as unfortunate (although sadly inevitable) that 5G was rushed to market… The bar will further be raised by mmWave services, which have been launched in the US, and recently in Asia in Japan. We see this as the ‘real’ 5G, and expect it to open up – albeit slowly – new opportunities for operators.”Whether 5G underwhelms or overwhelms in the short term, in the longer term it is here to stay – and that means some stocks are going to gain as 5G expands. Wall Street’s analysts have been busy finding those stocks, and the TipRanks database has the scoop. Here are three of them.Inseego Corporation (INSG)First up, Inseego, is a wireless and mobile hotspot company. As can be imagined, the company has gained directly from the moves toward increased remote work and virtual offices. The stock is up 27% this year, even after accounting for high volatility in April and August.Inseego has a direct concern in 5G. As a wireless provider, the company cannot afford to ignore the new tech, and is directly involved in developing and marketing home-use 5G routers. Inseego has an ongoing partnership with Verizon on networking and hardware, and is also working to expand its hotspots to IoT uses. The company has not ignored the innards of the devices, and works with Qualcomm on advanced 5G router chips.Like many networking providers, Inseego has performed at the financial level. Quarterly revenues have posted sequential gains through 2020, with Q3 exceeding $90 million at the top line. Q3 EPS showed a loss of 6 cents; the loss was considered normal, as Inseego, again like many other tech firms, typically shows a net loss per share. The important point to the EPS was, it was the smallest such loss in two years.Analyst Lance Vitanza, in his coverage of the stock for Cowen, writes, “While the company continues to see significant demand for legacy 4G products, its second-generation 5G product suite continues to ramp… Inseego is positioned to profit from the advent of 5G, technology that is estimated to generate $500 billion in GDP in the U.S. and which will give way to more traditional upgrades of existing mobile hot spots from 4G to 5G.”In line with these comments, the analyst puts an Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating on the stock. His price target, at $13.50, indicates room for 44% growth in 2021. (To watch Vitanza’s track record, click here)Overall, Inseego holds a Moderate Buy rating from the analyst consensus, based on 6 reviews breaking down to 4 Buys and 2 Holds. Meanwhile, the average price target, $13.17, suggests it has 41% upside potential in the year ahead. (See INSG stock analysis on TipRanks)Amdocs Limited (DOX)Software company Amdocs has built a strong reputation in the communications and media niche, while remaining under the radar compared to its competitors. In recent months, Amdocs has expanded its operations into 5G through the acquisition of Openet, a provider of telecom services for network commercialization and analytics. Openet bills itself as ‘built for 5G,’ and this acquisition, valued at $180 million, will bring Amdocs directing into the 5G network.In the meantime, a look at Amdocs’ recent performance shows that the company holds a sound position in the software universe. The company’s revenues barely blinked through the corona crisis, remaining in the range of $1.03 to $1.05 billion for the past four quarters. Earnings did even better; the $1.17 EPS recorded in 3Q20 is the company’s highest in over two years.Despite the solid financial performance, Amdocs shares have still not fully recovered from the mid-winter market crash. The stock is down 10% year-to-date, JPM analyst Jackson Ader believes that this stock’s relatively low price presents a clear opportunity for investors. “As 5G adoption begins to pick up and North American revenue stabilizes we think it is time to step in to this value name that has significantly lagged our coverage and the market this year… we believe 5G tailwinds, improving cash flow conversion and a potential value rotation warrant an upgrade to Overweight,” Ader noted. Along with that upgrade to Overweight (i.e. Buy), Ader sets a one-year price target of $75, suggesting a 17% upside for the stock. (To watch Ader’s track record, click here)Overall, with 3 recent Buys and 1 Hold, Amdocs gets a Strong Buy rating from the analyst consensus. The stock is selling for $63.97 and the average price target is $76, slightly more bullish than Ader’s and implying an upside of ~19%. (See Amdocs stock analysis on TipRanks)Tower Semiconductor (TSEM)Last but not least is Tower Semiconductor, a fabrication company in the chip industry. Fabs are a vital link in the semiconductor business, as many of the big chip designers don’t actually manufacture their own products – they do the design, make the prototypes, and outsource the serial production. Tower is one of the serial producers, making chips for major names among the big semiconductor companies, including Broadcom, Intel, and Samsung.Tower is heavily invested in 5G, producing a range of chips for 5G enabled devices, including everything from handsets to data centers. As 5G networks expand, and as end users begin the process of switching to enabled devices, Tower is well-positioned to gain. No matter which big chip companies get the lion’s share of the new business, Tower will be there – it runs the fabrication plants. It’s an enviable niche at a time when the market is starting to change at an accelerating rate.The combination of a firm foundation and good prospects can be seen in the revenues and earnings outlook. At the top line, income has been stable through this pandemic year, while at the bottom line, EPS is projected to start swinging back up in Q4 of this year.Needham analyst Rajvindra Gill is upbeat about Tower’s forward path. He rates the stock a Buy along with a $30 price target, suggesting a 30% upside on the one-year horizon. (To watch Gill’s track record, click here)Backing his stance, Gill writes, “We expect robust growth in ’21 given our expectations of the 5G smartphone market doubling and RF content increases of 40-60%… We view [TSEM] as our top small-cap 5G play, as we believe it is particularly well-positioned to benefit from the 5G cycle (both on smartphone & infrastructure side).”All in all, Tower’s Strong Buy analyst consensus rating is unanimous, supported by 3 recent Buy reviews. The stock has an average price target of $27.67, which implies a 20% upside from the current share price of $23.08. (See TSEM stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for 5G stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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