NXP Semiconductors NV (NASDAQ:NXPI) is a stark contrast to Qualcomm. It is a small-cap stock based in the Netherlands, not a giant of Silicon Valley, and it’s less than six years old.
It also doesn’t currently have a lucrative contract with Apple.
But if you want to get into the speculation business, then NXPI is a very compelling stock. That’s because this semiconductor company develops “near-field communication technology.” Think of it as a very short-range Wi-Fi network. You already can use your smartphone to pay for some things, and it’s only a matter of time before it’s common practice to swipe your phone instead of a credit card at the cash register.
It’s widely speculated that NXP is going to be a key supplier for the iPhone 5 — and this company could dominate the near-field technology chip business if it makes a successful debut.
But be warned. This company currently is bleeding cash and is very much still in the start-up phase. But if the 50% surge in shares so far in 2012 — almost twice the returns of Apple stock — are any indication, investors seem to think NXP is worth the risk.