The semiconductor industry has been at the center of the trade discussions between China and the U.S. Intellectual property rights are a major sticking point between the two countries. On November 25, China hinted at stricter rules to protect intellectual property rights and chip companies jumped as a result.
One particular chip company I am watching is Microchip Technology (Nasdaq: MCHP). The stock has been trending higher, but there are some concerns when it comes to the company's fundamentals. Looking at the chart first, we see on the daily chart how the stock has moved significantly higher since late May. The stock did pull back in the first part of November, but it looks like it has reversed course at this point.
We see how the daily stochastic readings dropped in to oversold territory in the last few weeks, but the indicators have turned higher and made a bullish crossover on November 22. The indicators were in oversold territory and made bullish crossovers in May, early August, and late August, and each time the stock rallied. This particular setup looks more like the round pattern from May than the V-shaped patterns in August.
While the char looks good, there are some concerns regarding the fundamental performance of the company. Microchip has seen its earnings grow by 25% per year over the last three years while sales have grown by 25% as well. One problem comes from the third quarter earnings report which showed that earnings fell by 9% and sales dropped 7%. Analysts expect earnings to fall by 15% on the year with sales being down an estimated 4.9% for the year.
The company's management efficiency ratings are really strong with the return on equity at 36.8% and the profit margin is at 30.4%.
Looking at the Fundamental Analysis Overview from Tickeron, Microchip only has one area where it is ever so slightly above average. The Profit vs. Risk Rating is at 41 which indicates well-balanced risk and returns. The average Profit vs. Risk Rating for the industry is 67, placing this stock slightly better than average.
The Tickeron Price Growth Rating for Microchip is 50, and that is the midpoint for the ratings. A rating of 1 indicates the highest price growth while a rating of 100 indicates the lowest price growth. The rating measures how the stock price has grown over the past year compared to S&P 500 components.
The SMR rating from Tickeron is 56, indicating strong sales and a profitable business model, but it is slightly below average. SMR (Sales, Margin, Return on Equity) rating is based on comparative analysis of weighted Sales, Income Margin and Return on Equity values compared against S&P 500 index constituents.
The Tickeron Valuation Rating of 74 indicates that the company is slightly overvalued in the industry. A rating of 1 points to the most undervalued stocks, while a rating of 100 points to the most overvalued stocks. This rating compares market capitalization estimated by our proprietary formula with the current market capitalization.
The PE Growth Rating for Microchip is 100, pointing to worse than average earnings growth. The PE Growth rating is based on a comparative analysis of stock PE ratio increase over the last 12 months compared against S&P 500 index constituents. A rating of 1 indicates highest PE growth while a rating of 100 indicates lowest PE growth.
The sentiment indicators for Microchip are mixed with extreme bullish sentiment from analysts and extreme bearish sentiment from short sellers. There are 22 analysts covering the stock with 18 "buy" ratings and four "hold" ratings. This puts the buy percentage at 81.8% and that is well above average.
The short interest ratio is a whopping 14.0 and that is one of the biggest short interest ratios I have seen lately. The average short interest ratio is around 3.0. If the stock rallies, this high short interest could add fuel to the fire as the short sellers can add buying pressure as they scramble to cover their positions.