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I'm convinced that this is the decade of mobile computing: smart-phones and tablets enabling a mobile lifestyle: searching, shopping, entertaining, and paying on the go. But it's not just smart-phones and tablets but a whole ecosystem they exist in: processor cores, graphic chips, wireless communications, GPS, skins for the gadgets, keyboards and other accessories, secure communications, cloud storage, batteries, software galore, retail establishments, online sales, on and offline games, video, audio, slideshows, as well as airline, hotel and dining reservations. Even law enforcement is using it, eyeglass cameras for law enforcement officers on the job to record events in real time (from Taser [TASR]).

As you can gather from the disarray of the above list, I have not done a systematic survey of the ecosystem but my WAG is that it will resemble somewhat The Gorilla Game but likely the market will be an order of magnitude greater than the PC market. There are many more people than desktops! And the BRICs emerging middle classes will be huge. I say "resemble somewhat" because consumer electronics will be more commoditized and less proprietary than the PC business was. But that is not a hinderance for Lynchian multi-baggares.

For close to a year I have been building up mobile holdings for my portfolio, not systematically but opportunistically. I'm staying away from big brand names like AAPL because they simply scare me. How can AAPL possibly be a multi-bagger at this point? It will probably surprise me but it does not matter provided my picks grow as fast or faster than AAPL. After all, it's not the name of the stock that interests me but the value I can get from it.

For what it's worth (the list and a dollar might buy you coffee) my positions:

ARM Holdings [ARMH]: Microprocessor cores. They own the mobile market with low power chips and are moving upscale to tablets, and servers. This darn stock has the habit of not going anywhere for a long time and then becoming a several-bagger. Best played with options. Best tracked on the UK Foolish board: http://boards.fool.co.uk/arm-holdings-plc-arm-50124.aspx?mid...

Mitek Systems, Inc. [MITK]: Secure financial transactions. They are trusted by banks and don't need a new chip (NFC). They scan and interpret images of the documents. Take a picture of the document and Mitek processes the transaction.

Universal Display Corp. [PANL]: Organic light emitting diode (OLED) technologies and materials for use in flat panel display and solid-state lighting. After 25 years of R&D, 2011 was the first profitable year most of the revenue coming from mobile phones (flat screens). A good portion of the revenues are royalties which drop right down to the bottom line. Nice!

ZAGG Inc. [ZAGG]: Shields and accessories for mobile devices. They are the market leaders, sort of the Logitech of mobile.

Comments welcome!

Denny Schlesinger
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I agree with your general thesis. My investment in the "mobile space" has long been, and will contnue, to be QCOM. I try to keep my long-term portfolio holdings to around twenty individual names, so I'm not hunting for new candidates. I have a small, bite-size position in AMT.

I've no doubt that quite a few companies will prosper, and quite a few firms will fail, as this huge market sector continues to evolve.
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Agreed Denny- we're going to see mobile devices become more and more important. Smaller and smaller, faster and faster. I'd like to look at some companies that are in the battery market- any advice? I'm not even sure who makes the iPhone battery- I tried looking it up a few weeks ago but didn't come up with an answer.

You say that Apple scares you, but that Universal Display, which is 25 years old, has only had 1 year of profitability. Apple has been very profitable and should continue to be for the foreseeable future. I'd rather put my money there, even if it's not going to be a multi-bagger. As you know, I'm an immature investor, so it makes more sense to me to invest in large, proven companies that are undervalued.

Thanks for the ideas- Intel may be another company to keep in mind when it comes to mobile computing. I think they're undervalued right now, but it may take some time for Intel to prove that to the market.
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Denny, what did you do?!?

Universal (PANL) is down almost 9% at the time of this writing, MITK is down almost 5%, ZAGG is down 3% and ARMH is down 2%. I'm going to have to ask you never to write about any of the stocks in my portfolio ;)

If one thinks these are good companies to invest in, they sure are getting beat up today, so it may present a good opportunity.
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I take it you don't like the big one emerging into the small mobile sector, intel. I liked three technoloby stocks and decided on two -- buying CSCO, MSFT and leaving out Intel. I did alright with the first two, but would have done better with Intel.

Also, I've discussed my love of all things Turkey, which HAS lost me some money the last two years from their country ETF TUR.

http://caps.fool.com/Ticker/TKC.aspx
However, I think Turkcell (TKC) is intriguing because of their overall sales area (which is far beyond Turkey). They have lost in price in part because of a huge internal fight among big investors, but it really hasn't hurt their business much -- there's a TMF story I can't find now. They have grown more slowly also because of the European and Middle Eastern slowdown.

Might be worth a look.

Hockeypop
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Another way to play it is emerging market telcos. Indonesia is forecast to be the 5th largest economy in the world in 20 years (according to the IMF). I took a stake in TLK to benefit from the long-term secular growth in mobile computing in that country.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
captal07:

There are plenty stalwarts in the mobile area: INTC, QCOM, AAPL, ARMH, MSFT, GOOG, AMZN, AMT, TXN, NOK, RIMM as well as a lot of new comers like ZAGG, MITK, PANL. I think there is enough diversity to satisfy a lot of investment styles.

I'd like to look at some companies that are in the battery market- any advice?

Stay away from batteries! LOL

One can segment the mobile area by industry. Batteries are well over 100 years old technology which depends more on physics than on human ingenuity. There is a lot of competition and it is a commodity market. The key word is "commodity." Batteries compete essentially on cost and competition kills profits. If you knew the business and if you knew who the low cost producer is, then you might have an edge. Otherwise, not a good bet to make you money.

Intel was the chip king of the desktop. But as often happens, an upstart ran away with the newer mobile market. While ARMH provides the IP, there are a number of suppliers making ARM based chips including QCOM, TXN, NVDA, and MRVL. Intel fumbled the ball badly with mobile chips. Way back when they acquired the StrongARM from Digital Equipment (DEC), an ARM based chip.

The StrongARM is a family of microprocessors that implemented the ARM V4 instruction set architecture (ISA). It was developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and later sold to Intel, who continued to manufacture it before replacing it with the XScale.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StrongARM

They renamed the effort XScale to remove the ARM branding and added some proprietary features which had ARM investors worried Intel would steal the market from ARM. It didn't happen, instead Intel sold XScale to Marvell (MRVL):

XScale
On June 27, 2006, the sale of Intel's XScale assets was announced. Intel agreed to sell the XScale business to Marvell for an estimated USD 600 million in cash and the assumption of unspecified liabilities. The acquisition was completed on November 9, 2006.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvell_Technology_Group

Intel's next try was ATOM which was not a roaring success:

Intel Atom is the brand name for a line of ultra-low-voltage IA-32 and x86-64 CPUs (or microprocessors) from Intel, originally designed in 45 nm CMOS with subsequent models, codenamed Cedar, using a 32 nm process.[2] Atom is mainly used in netbooks, nettops, embedded applications ranging from health care to advanced robotics, and mobile internet devices (MIDs). For Atom system on chips designed for smartphones and tablets see Atom (system on chip).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Atom

Why this sort of thing happens is best explained by The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton Christensen. A low end chip didn't have a prayer in competing with the X86 line of chips from Intel in PCs and servers and Intel could conveniently ignore upstart ARM. While Intel wasn't looking ARM went upscale to 32 bits while keeping power consumption to an absolute minimum. Next time Intel looked, ARM was the leader in the mobile market. ARM chips are inexpensive, specially compared to the work horses from Intel. This is the dilemma Christensen explains so well.

If you are not happy with ARMH, go with one of the stalwart ARM licensees: QCOM, TXN, MRVL for example.

As for PANL making money for the first time, yes, it was a good idea to ignore the company while it was burning through cash. But once the market accepts the product and the company starts making money, it's the time to start getting well acquainted. I'm not saying buy it, Research it thoroughly and make up your own mind.

Denny Schlesinger


The Innovator's Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book that Will Change the Way You Do Business by Clayton M. Christensen (Author)
http://www.amazon.com/Innovators-Dilemma-Revolutionary-Busin...
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Denny, what did you do?!?

Shift happens! ROFLMAO

The Captain.
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Funny coincidence, today's POD says why INTC is the best thing since sliced bread:

Intel's Rising Valuation

A look at Intel's stock price charts tells me at least two interesting facts: (1) since Sep-2011, INTC's price has been increasing at a significant clip, approaching the highs it set in 2007, before the market began to collapse, (2) this is in marked contrast to the price movement over the last decade or so, when Intel's stock price delivered a performance that only Warren Buffett (and people who think like him) were able to appreciate. I like to offer some possible explanations for this phenomenon, and speculate a bit on the future.


http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/intels-rising-valuation/714871

Let's compare to ARMH since inception:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=ARMH&t=my&l=on&z...

ARMH looks like sliced gourmet cake with marshmallows by comparison. ;)

At this point in time, INTC is a stalwart value stock which will be throwing off lots of cash for years to come but, as the POD points out, it is no longer a growth stock. ARMH, by comparison, is still very much a growth stock.

Denny Schlesinger
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Good article on Universal: http://m.aol.com/dailyfinance/default/articleStory.do?catego...

Sounds kind of like The Captain :)
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Good find! I had been hearing about OLED and PANL for a long time but the earnings were not there. Yesterday a Fool mentioned the earnings and they looked terrific. After reading the earnings report I looked at the price chart and the puts. With a stock as volatile as PANL, options are expensive, good to sell. I priced a few and I knew I wanted to do the deal. Then I noticed that the stock was down after hours. What the heck was going on? Analysts were worried about the guidance. They don't update the option chains after hours and I figured that at the open the option deals would be even better. They were! So I sold some today to start my PANL position.

This is not an easy stock. Organic LED (OLED), despite the truckload of patents, remains a commodity that competes with several other technologies. Many years ago I got very enthusiastic about CREE and Silicon Carbide (SiC) which is a superduper semiconductor but as an investment it was a bust. Many of us were blinded by the promises that never fully materialized. Take a look at a long term chart to see how bumpy that ride was. It's a stock now selling at a P/E above 50 which for CREE is ridiculous. I worry that OLED and PANL could have a similar fate and therefore it is a stock to watch like a hawk.

Denny Schlesinger
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QCOM has added to their MEMS display technology investment. Widely overlooked has been their recent acquisition of Pixtronix.

This is in addition to the reflective IMod "Mirasol" displays that are coming. Pixtronix is an emissive shutter MEMS display that offers a different mix of features than IMod. Perhaps not quite as low power solution as the reflective IMod but with the promise of richer color and better video. Imod will likely have a niche in lowest power apps where best visibility in all (read bright outdoor) light levels.

http://www.socaltech.com/qualcomm_buys_pixtronix/s-0040649.h...

http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/26/qualcomm-buys-pixtronix/

http://www.slashgear.com/qualcomm-acquires-pixtronix-for-fut...

http://www.theverge.com/2012/1/26/2735849/qualcomm-buys-pixt...

http://www.electronista.com/articles/12/01/25/qualcomm.acqui...

Meanwhile they've been busy showing off the 4 recent color Mirasol based e-readers at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona.

http://www.qualcomm.com/mwc

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400889,00.asp
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*errr...edit: "transflective IMod"
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No. of Recommendations: 30
March 1st. 1920

I'm convinced that this is the decade of the automobile: cars (excuse the slang) enable a mobile lifestyle, searching, shopping, entertaining, and paying on the go.

For close to a year I have been building up automobile and related holdings for my portfolio, not systematically but opportunistically. I'm staying away from big brand names like Ford because they simply scare me. How can Ford possibly be a multi-bagger at this point?

For what it's worth (the list and and two cents might buy you coffee) my positions:

Weston-Mott, manufacturer of wheels and axles.
It's a no-brainer; you ain't going anywhere without wheels and axles.

Doble Steam Motors Corporation (advanced steam engines).
Cutting edge technology. By 1930 there's a good chance that a large percentage of automobiles will be steam driven.

Peerless Motor company.
There'll always be a healthy market for luxury cars.

The LaFayette Motors Corporation.
LaFayette innovations include the first electric clock in an auto.


Comments welcome!

kelbon's grandfather :)
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More Mobile stuff, more Mobile ideas--

http://seekingalpha.com/article/401501-seeking-alpha-from-th...

I did own SQNS briefly. It was a profitable holding so it remained on my watchlist.
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More Mobile stuff, more Mobile ideas--
Hohum777


Thanks! From Seeking Alpha:

Mobile Payments

Near-Field Communications - NFC - has been an emerging payment technology for nearly a decade. But infighting between banks and mobile operators, on where to incorporate the NFC chip, who owns the end user, charging, etc. has slowed down the process. But all is not lost, Google Wallet is incorporating NFC, and other deployments are getting started.


One of the lessons from The Gorilla Game is that complexity kills uptake. It sounds like NFC is technology by committee and with endless rounds of discussion things move slowly. BTW, TMF likes NFC. Two of the reasons I like Mitek [MITK] in the secure transaction area are 1) they already have the confidence of banks since they process the paper checks, and 2) they don't use an additional chip but rely on their proprietary image scanning software to read the documents. They can run along at their own pace while the infighting at the NFC camp slows the competitors down.

Denny Schlesinger
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No. of Recommendations: 7
Many years ago I got very enthusiastic about CREE and Silicon Carbide (SiC) which is a superduper semiconductor but as an investment it was a bust. Many of us were blinded by the promises that never fully materialized. Take a look at a long term chart to see how bumpy that ride was. It's a stock now selling at a P/E above 50 which for CREE is ridiculous. - Denny

I found this comment interesting. I, too, invested in CREE years ago (mid-1990's). I established a fairly large position at the time (relative to my portfolio). That investment has returned over 400% to date. I've watched company assets grow from several hundred million to near $3 Billion. My position is now the largest it has ever been, and we haven't even entered the rapid, global solid-state lighting adoption cycle yet. CREE has been very, VERY good to me.

The key has been that I've "swing-traded" this holding over the past 15+ years. In fact, I've been swing-trading most of my long-term holdings: buying low - cashing out profits at highs - repurchasing at lows - lather/rinse/repeat. It's an investing style that works for me.

That's pretty much why I don't constantly search for new "candidate" stocks. There are a whole lotta compelling "story stocks" being touted each and every day. The problem with story stocks is that it takes me a long time to understand a company, its market niche and its honest prospects going forward.

Today, CREE stands as one of the top-5 global solid-state lighting manufacturers. It has NO debt, a healthy balance sheet, a robust R&D program, an impressive IP portfolio, and an ever-growing revenue stream.

Bumpy rides don't bother me at all. In fact, they help me maximize profits while I keep my "eyes on the prize."
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The key has been that I've "swing-traded" this holding over the past 15+ years. In fact, I've been swing-trading most of my long-term holdings: buying low - cashing out profits at highs - repurchasing at lows - lather/rinse/repeat. It's an investing style that works for me.

putnid


This is a lesson that took a while to sink into my scull! I'm not so much swing-trading as option trading but to the same effect.

Denny Schlesinger
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No. of Recommendations: 5
This is a lesson that took a while to sink into my scull! I'm not so much swing-trading as option trading but to the same effect. - Denny

It took me a while to adjust my long-term buy and hold mindset, too. I'm still a long-term holder/investor at my core but, when markets go essentially nowhere (e.g., the "lost decade" of the 2000's), swing-trading helps me boost my profits while I maintain my core holdings.

The challenge of swing-trading is that it takes dedication to purpose. I semi-retired at age 50 (now fully retired at 60). I've got the time, the interest/dedication and the intestinal fortitude to swing-trade. I recognize that most people lack one or more of these essentials.

I try to keep things as simple as possible. Buy great (or at least good) companies with solid future prospects. Watch the markets like a hawk. "Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful."

I don't play in the options sandbox. Too much complexity for my blood. Options add in an element of "timing." I suck at market timing. I simply accept what the Market gives me...whenever.
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Mitek Systems, Inc. [MITK]: Secure financial transactions. They are trusted by banks and don't need a new chip (NFC). They scan and interpret images of the documents. Take a picture of the document and Mitek processes the transaction.

When you go to an Apple Store, they do not have cash registers. You pay the guy who is standing in front of you.

Mind that I am technologically ignorant, but are they just using standard credit card readers connected via wifi to the store network? Or, are they using something like MITK?

sf
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I can't say about Apple Stores but using Mitek involves taking a picture of a document like a check to make a deposit or an invoice to make a payment.

Denny Schlesinger
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On the subject of displays in mobile wireless products:

crossposting from Qualcomm board

http://boards.fool.com/etext-book-visions-29894856.aspx
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