5 ETF Winners No Matter Who Wins Smartphone War
Apple's ( AAPL ) bombed launch of the iPhone 5C reveals the virtual bloodiness of the smartphone wars. The once bullet-proof stock has tanked 33% from last year's zenith, following in the footsteps of the industry's first casualty,BlackBerry ( BBRY ).
International Data Corporation forecasts smartphone shipment will soar 33% this year to 959 million units.
WhetherSamsung holds the lead or Apple returns to life is anyone's guess. But these outperforming ETFs let investors play five industries that profit from both sides of the battle because they provide parts and services used by all smartphones:
1.First Trust ISE Cloud Computing ( SKYY ), up 23% year to date, holds 40 companies that provide infrastructure, hardware, software or storage used to connect mobile devices to emails and myriad other apps. SKYY includes industry leadersSalesforce.com ( CRM ),Akamai ( AKAM ) andOracle (ORCL) .
Increasingly we are living in a world of IOT -- Internet of things -- in which 10 new car models with Internet access are being rolled out this year, fueling exponential growth in cloud computing and demand for chipsets, said Chia-Lin Simmons, vice president of marketing and content forHarman International (HAR).
U.S. chief information officers expect cloud-related investments to go from accounting for only 5% of their IT spending in 2012 to 13% in 2016, according to PwC's market research.
Global spending on public cloud services is forecast to increase at a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 18% between 2011 through 2016.
Merger-and-acquisition activity in the IT industry is expected to rise as hardware giants such asIBM (IBM) strive to become one-stop shops offering virtualization and security software, S&P Capital IQ wrote in a client note.
Plus, most software companies have strong balance sheets and have been buying back their shares, S&P added.
2. Global XSocial Media (SOCL), has vaulted an eye-popping 48% this year as Facebook (FB) blew away Wall Street estimates.
SOCL holds 27 other companies engaged in social networking, file sharing, and other web-based media apps, includingLinkedIn (LNKD) andPandora Media (P).
3. iShares S&P GSTI Software (IGV), up 21% year to date, has 60 stocks, many of which overlap with SKYY. Other large holdings areMicrosoft (MSFT),Intuit (INTU), andSymantec (SYMC).
"We are in the middle innings of a PC refresh cycle, as companies upgrade their aging computers along with the operating system to Microsoft Windows 7/Windows 8 from prior versions," S&P capital IQ wrote in a client note. "Sales of operating systems for servers will increase at a high single-digit rate in the next 12 months. We also see strong growth in virtualization software, as companies seek ways to reduce rising operational costs of their data centers caused by the proliferation of servers."
4. PowerShares Nasdaq Internet (PNQI), up 45% year to date, holds 81 names led byFacebook ,Priceline.com (PCLN),Amazon.com (AMZN)andGoogle (GOOG) .
U.S. online advertising revenue rose 12% in 2012 and is projected to grow 10% for 2013, according to S&P Capital IQ.
"Corporations are committing larger percentages of advertising budgets to the Internet as people spend more time online, especially as compared with consumption of other media," S&P wrote. "Moreover, Internet marketing offers notable targeting and data-focused return-on-investment capabilities."
5. SPDR S&P Semiconductor (XSD), up 28% year to date, offers exposure to 50 equal-weighted stocks, led byCirrus Logic (CRUS),SunPower (SPWR) andMicron Technology (MU).
"IPhone represents 7% of overall semiconductor demand, 15% of leading edge foundry (separate chip producers and designers), 7% NAND (flash memory) and 4% of DRAM (dynamic random-access memory)," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a client note released Wednesday.