A colleague recently asked if I knew why semiconductor stocks significantly underperformed the market over the past five years, even though chip sales have seen double-digit growth during the same period. Being a veteran of the industry, I surprised both of us by not knowing the answer. So I decided to find out.
First, the facts. The PHLX semiconductor sector index (SOX) declined at a rate of 2.9 percent per year over the past five years, while Merrill Lynch's semiconductor index exchange-traded fund (SMH) declined 1.0 percent per year.
The Nasdaq, on the other hand, experienced a 4.8 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the same period. Likewise, the Dow and S&P 500 respectively grew 3.7 percent and 3.9 percent annually.
Indeed, the semiconductor sector has significantly underperformed the broad market. … Read more