The ‘Bitcoin of U.K. Stocks’ Is Up More Than 300%

Bitcoin: What’s Coming in the Year Ahead

Semiconductor company IQE Plc continued its upward trajectory, rising as much as 19%, after reporting expansion plans that may include new “mass market opportunities.” 

The Welsh stock that traded at about 39p at the end of last year, is now worth four times as much. The ‘bitcoin of U.K. equities’ has risen 335% this year and it flagged prospects for further growth. 

IQE said Friday it raised 95 million pounds ($125 million) to “accelerate” development of new products, and that full-year earnings could potentially exceed current expectations. The comments propelled the stock to a four-month high.

And there could be more to come. Citi analysts, who initiated IQE coverage with a buy recommendation and a 195 pence price target, say there could be upside for shares driven by the “wider 3D sensing opportunity in smartphones, a resilient business model & scope for margin expansion.”

Analysts Ana Chkhikvadze and Amit Harchandani also note the growing appreciation of IQE’s “unique” positioning in the compound semiconductor value chain.

IQE designs wafers that are needed for Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs), used for 3D sensors and widely thought to be included in the new iPhone.

IQE is also outperforming peers, expanding margins against the Philadelphia tech index. Meanwhile, European peers like Germany’s Dialog Semiconductor, suffer from being overly-reliant on Apple and a ‘disappointing’ outlook.

— With assistance by Aine Quinn, Blaise Robinson, and Paul Jarvis

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