Semiconductor stocks continue to ride a powerful wave six months into 2017.
Global semiconductor sales increased by 22.6% year-over-year to $31.9 billion this May from $26 billion in May 2016, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). This year-over-year growth is the largest the industry has seen since September 2010. Industry sales in May also climbed 1.9% from April’s $31.4 billion.
“The global semiconductor market has settled into a period of significant and steady growth in 2017, with sales through May well ahead of the total from the same point last year,” SIA CEO John Neuffer told DigiTimes. “Significantly, recent market growth has been consistent across all major regional markets and semiconductor product categories, with sales of memory products continuing to lead the way.”
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Chip stocks have seen a nice boost from the tightening supply of DRAM and NAND memory chips in the past year. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) is up by 66% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 has risen 8.65% in the same time period.
Lam Research (LRCX) is up 34.81% to $142.53 year-to-date (YTD). Nvidia (NVDA) has climbed 34.02% to $143.05 YTD. Micron Technology (MU) has seen a 39.19% bump to $30.51 YTD. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is up 16.31% to $13.19 YTD. Cypress Semiconductor (CY) has increased to 18.79% to $13.59 YTD.
The semiconductor fingerprint sensor industry is facing particularly strong competition, which is driving down per-unit prices to as low as $1.50, Oppenheimer analyst Rick Schafer wrote in a note on Wednesday. “Less-competitive players are expected to be forced to withdraw from the competitive fingerprint sensor market, said the sources, adding that a wave of elimination is set to kick off,” he wrote.