The tech forecasting firm IDC recently estimated that global sales of smartphones hit 1 billion last year. That number is expected to rise by nearly 70% to 1.68 billion by the end of 2017.
No wonder the semiconductor industry is so optimistic. The trade group known as SEMI notes that at the end of the first quarter new chip bookings were running 16% ahead of last year.
We’re talking about $1.28 billion in sales – up from the year-ago total of $1.10 billion. And for every $100 in sales, the industry booked $106 in new orders.
Independent analysts also are expecting yet another good year for semiconductors. For instance, Research and Markets says global semi sales will increase 4.4% this year. And the growth is even higher in the more developed Americas markets.
No Doz Opportunity No. 2 Lesson: When you see a stock or sector getting taken down in a “guilt-by-association” sell-off, pick it up before the rest of the crowd notices, too. And right now, despite the recent sell-off, the semiconductor sector is as healthy as it’s ever been.
No Doz Opportunity No. 3: IPOs
Strictly speaking, initial public offerings (IPOs) are not part of the high-tech industry, because they include everything from energy firms to restaurant chains.
However, IPOs are an integral part of the tech ecosystem. Without eventual access to the public markets, privately held startups would have a tough time attracting the venture capital they need to fund cutting-edge ideas.
A great gauge of the health of the IPO market is the First Trust IPOX-100 Index Fund (NYSE Arca: FPX), an ETF focused on newly minted stocks.
Sell-offs are a death sentence for a healthy IPO market. And as the first quarter came to a close, the previously hot market for new issues was cut down with the rest of the tech sector.
From its recent high, reached on March 6, FPX fell a bit more than 10% before reaching its closing low of $43.60 on April 11. Since then, the fund has sharply rebounded and has bounced back almost 7%.
This occurred as market experts Renaissance Capital said there were more IPOs during this year’s first quarter than during any other quarter since 2000.
In all, 64 companies raised $10.6 billion in the first three months of 2014. That’s more than double the number of IPOs in the first quarter of 2013. And the first quarter of last year stood as a record, with the most public offerings in more than a decade.
In fact, 2013 was a downright blistering year for IPOs. Researcher Dealogic says there were roughly 230 U.S.-listed IPOs issued last year. That’s up 58% from the 145 in 2012. The 2013 offerings raised $61.7 billion, up 31% from a year earlier, making it the largest annual haul since 2007.
No Doz Opportunity No. 3 Lesson: Big demand for IPOs is one of the single-best signs of a healthy stock market. Although the offerings market took a temporary hit in conjunction with the tech-stock sell-off, it has quickly bounced back. In recent weeks we’ve seen lots of buzz surrounding such IPO deals as Alibaba and GoPro. Investment bankers are loath to bring out potentially hot deals in a lousy stock market; they’d rather “shelve” them and wait. So the fact that the new-offerings market has rebounded so quickly – especially with hot tech IPOs – is strong evidence that the tech-stock rebound will also continue. And the First Trust IPOX-100 Index Fund is definitely a good way to play this sub-trend.
The bottom line here is that our February prediction about tech stocks was correct – and so was my advice to stay the course. And the “No Doz” strategy we’ve outlined today will keep you alert – so you can spot the next opportunities that come your way.
We’re in the midst of the greatest investing boom in almost 60 years. And rest assured – this boom is not about to end anytime soon. You see, the flattening of the world continues to spawn new markets worth trillions of dollars; new customers that measure in the billions; an insatiable global demand for basic resources that’s growing exponentially ; and a technological revolution even in the most distant markets on the planet. And Money Morning is here to help investors profit handsomely on this seismic shift in the global economy. In fact, we believe this is where the only real fortunes will be made in the months and years to come.