The semiconductor space has been brutal for stock investors over the past three months. ON Semiconductor (NASDAQ:ON), Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), and STMicroelectronics (NASDAQ:STM) are among the companies whose stocks have been hit hard.
Investors want to know if semiconductors stocks are safe yet.
While I can’t address every semiconductor stock, it’s worth taking a good, solid look at a few of them. For instance, I love Nvidia because of its industry-leading technology that is used by various industries. While NVDA stock will remain volatile in the short-term, we know that it’s trading at a discount to its long-term opportunity.
That type of action shows us that the market is pricing in a worst-case scenario for many of these names. In fact, after Skyworks made its announcement, other semiconductor stocks, including ON Semi, started to rally, too. Consequently, it’s worthwhile to take a closer look at ON Semiconductor stock.
Valuing ON Semiconductor Stock
About 30% of ON’s revenue comes from the automotive sector, while about 20% of its top line is generated by deals with communication companies and roughly 25% of its revenue comes from the industrial, aero-defense and medical sectors. While its vertical markets are fairly diverse, its geographical markets aren’t so varied. Only about 15% of ON’s sales come from the Americas, while Asia(excluding Japan) accounts for over 60% of its top line.
Given that it has so much exposure to Asia, one would think that ON stock would be under more pressure than it has been. Over the last three months, its shares have actually risen 5.5%. Compare its performance to that of names like NVDA and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), which are down 46% and 29% during the same span, respectively, and ON looks pretty good.
That said, ON stock is down about 35% from its highs, so it hasn’t escaped completely unscathed from the selloff. Still, as Chinese economic data continues to come in weak and as the auto market hugs the flatline in terms of growth, one does wonder about ON’s growth profile.
For 2018, analysts on average are calling for earnings of $1.90 per share on revenue of $5.88 billion, representing year-over-year increases of 30.1% and 9.1%, respectively. Consensus estimates call for ON’s earnings growth to slow to just 0.5% in 2019, alongside just 3.4% revenue growth. The expected deceleration suggests that analysts anticipate that the company’s margins will erode and leaves investors wondering if its results could end up being worse than expected.
But ON stock trades at less than ten times this year’s earnings. If ON’s net debt of over $1.7 billion was lower (note the market cap of ON stock is just $7.5 billion), then the shares would be more attractive to me. There’s no doubt that other semi stocks are more solid from a financial standpoint.
ON stock hit a low near $14.75 in late October, but more importantly, it didn’t make a new low when the market did on Christmas Eve. That’s a bullish development for a stock that was previously weak when the stock market sold off. ON stock has since pushed through its 21-day , 50-day, and 100-day moving averages,
Ultimately, it would be constructive to see ON challenge $19.35, the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement from its 52-week high/low range. However, the stock may need to pull back before ultimately pushing through these levels. If the shares do retreat, I would love to see them hold their short-term uptrend support, which is depicted by the blue line on the chart.