Even in a bad stock market, Qorvo has proven to be among the most disappointing North Carolina-based stocks.
The company was formed on Jan. 1, 2015 through the merger of Greensboro-based RF Micro Devices and Hillsboro, Ore.-based TriQuint Semiconductor. Most of its revenue stems from selling chips for Apple’s iPhone and other smartphones – a truly great opportunity in 2016. Last June it was added to the S&P 500 index, a prestigious listing.
But shares, which started trading at about $69 when the merger took effect and topped $87 in June, closed Friday at $36.60, including a 30% decline over the last month. Sales of iPhones haven’t matched expectations in recent months, damaging many companies that make its components. The dip accelerated last week when Qualcomm said it had formed a partnership with Japan’s TDK that experts said would compete directly with Qorvo and other companies that make chips for smartphones and other mobile devices.
Qorvo remains a favorite of tech industry analysts with 17 of the 21 people who follow the company rating it as a “buy.” Earnings per share are expected to increase 21% over the next year.
Qorvo’s success is important for Greensboro, where it plans a $25 million expansion that is expected to add 100 jobs within three years, at average pay of $80,000 annually. The expansion includes a 150,000-square-foot plant next to corporate headquarters. To entice the expansion, state and local officials pledged more than $1 million in incentives.
Analysts have an average one-year target price for Qorvo of $59, or a 60% gain. Let’s hope smartphones keep flying off the shelves, to Qorvo’s benefit.