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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing stock

The Search for ‘Undiscovered’ AI Chip Stocks

This blog post was originally published as part of today’s Daily Contrarian.

Recent market activity shows investors don’t want to wait for Nvidia (NVDA) earnings tomorrow to bid up AI chip stocks. Marvell Technology (MRVL) was one of the biggest winners yesterday. Smaller AI names like Soundhound AI (SOUN) also put in rallies, as did the usual suspects AMD (AMD), Micron (MU), Super Micro Computer (SMCI), Broadcom (AVGO), and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM).

AI bull

Here’s an idea for an ETF: small AI hardware names. Limit it at, say $5 billion market cap companies. The focus on hardware would (presumably) allow for a margin of safety. It would also weed out names like the aforementioned Soundhound, C3.ai (AI), FARO Technologies (FARO), and others including companies that just plaster the term ‘AI’ all over their marketing materials to attract attention.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave much. The Contrarian did a preliminary search and found just a few such companies, almost all of them suppliers to the semiconductor industry. Of course, ‘undiscovered’ is a bit of a misnomer here. Investors have picked through any and every stock even remotely related to AI. Still, it’s fair to say these securities are certainly under-covered by Wall Street.

Names include ACM Research (ACMR), Camtek (CAMT), FormFactor (FORM), Ichor Holdings (ICHR), Kulicke and Soffa Industries (KLIC), Photronics (PLAB), Ultra Clean Holdings (UCTT), and Veeco Instruments (VECO).

It’s likely the AI hype story is already priced in to these stocks (didn’t check). But it may be worth putting these names in an index to track them, to the extent that somebody hasn’t done it yet. If nothing else this could give us an idea of stocks to buy when (if) there is a pullback in AI chip names.

There are obviously private companies as well, including Anthropic (OpenAI rival), Graphcore, Cerebras, SambaNova, Groq.

The Contrarian does not hold any of these stocks.

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Value Stock Geek on Google, Meta, Taiwan Semiconductor (Season 5, Episode 13)

This episode was recorded on Tuesday, May 16 and made available to premium subscribers that same day. To become a premium subscriber sign up on Supercast or Substack.

Value Stock Geek rejoins the podcast to discuss recent portfolio acquisitions Google (GOOG), Meta (META), and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM), what’s on his watch list, and where and when he could be looking to buy.

Content Highlights

  • The case for Google stock (1:54);
  • Artificial intelligence and how that is impacting Google’s business (6:40);
  • Meta and the Metaverse: investing in the legacy business plus Instagram (7:38);
  • Taiwan Semiconductor: cyclical, yes, but a good bet for the long term (12:39);
  • ‘The Weird Portfolio’ and how that works (16:07);
  • The watchlist and two notable stocks worth watching right now: NVR (NVR) and Deere (DE) (20:39).
  • Home Depot (HD), another watchlist stock, just reported earnings and lowered guidance due in part to consumers pulling back on big-ticket purchases (29:00).

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3 Stock Picks, the Case for Investing in Malaysia: Aaron Pek (Szn 5, Epsd 10)

This podcast episode brought to you by Covey — Covey is designed to find, reward, and train the next top investment managers —from any background—that anyone can copy, so everyone can win. To track a partial portfolio of Value Investing Substack, click here.

Aaron Pek of Value Investing Substack joins the podcast to discuss his bullish outlook on three individual stocks and more generally the investment case for Malaysia.

Content Highlights

  • First idea: Intel (INTC) and why it can compete with Samsung (SSNLF) and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) (2:33);
  • Some additional background on Intel and its business case (4:49);
  • Bears say INTC has years until it can catch up to TSMC, but Intel has the necessary machinery to bridge the gap sooner (10:10);
  • Second idea: Occidental Petroleum (OXY), a unique oil play beloved by Warren Buffett (15:23);
  • Background on the guest (23:57);
  • Third idea: Hibiscus Petroleum (HIPEF), whose management team the guest views as the Warren Buffett management team of southeast Asian oil and gas (28:13);
  • The case for Malaysia: a view from the ground (32:29);
  • There is an ETF, iShares MSCI Malaysia ETF (EWM) which tracks Malaysian stocks. Discussion of Malaysia’s geopolitical place between China and the US (34:39);
  • China’s lost decade (44:11).

Not investment advice! Do your own research, make your own decisions.

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