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Top 5G stocks of 2020: discover the week's latest news, rumours, and deals

5G stocks
(Image credit: Future)
Complete guide to 5G

(Image credit: Future)

5G technology: how it works
4G vs 5G: how they compare
5G use cases: examples of 5G
5G Dangers: the fact and fiction
5G Internet: will it replace fibre
5G security: the full picture
5G speed: guide and tools
5G deals: get the best offers
5G phones: discover the best
5G networks: in the US and UK

Despite a turbulent six months for investors, and for the 5G stocks as a whole, we are starting to see 5G stocks bounce back from the effects of coronavirus. Also, the fact that the UK has now clarified its position on Huawei, a non-trading private company, investors can approach the next six months with more certainty.

The stock market saw big dips at the end of March 2020, and 5G stocks were amongst those affected. However, since then, the market has started its recovery, and the picture for 5G still looks attractive to investors. 

The Covid-19 outbreak, and the need for many people to work remotely, and access the internet on the move, has highlighted the importance of 5G technology. And rather than sideline plans for 5G investment, some reports show that the pandemic has moved 5G up the priority list of many enterprises, and consumer use is also increasing.

5G stocks prices are on the up

The launch of 5G will affect a huge number of companies, from mobile networks, to healthcare and gaming. This will consequently boost the stock market, as 5G brings new opportunities and revenue streams for companies. 5G stock prices are likely to soar, and investors will be reaping the benefits as 5G continues to grow. 

In this weekly update we bring you updates on the hottest 5G stocks.

5G stock info

(Image credit: Skyworks)

Exchange: NASDAQ

Current price: $135.06

Market cap: $23.05bn

Year high: $154.24

Year low: $67.90

P/E ratio: 30.34

Dividend yield: 1.45%

Hot 5G stock: Skyworks Solutions

Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ: SWKS) stock is up 13% since the start of the year, and the semiconductor company generated 51% of its total revenue from Apple last year. This is both good and bad news as the 5G iPhone release is expected to face delays in the wake of coronavirus, which saw a recent 5% dip, but an almost immediate recovery.

Gartner had originally estimated that 221 million 5G smartphones could be sold in 2020 and the Covid-19 outbreak has had an obvious knock-on effect. 

However, with Skyworks being one of the main chipmakers for huge players such as Apple, and with the US trade ban on Chinese technology spreading around the globe, it isn’t an investment to be overlooked. And despite Skyworks being on the radar of many investors over the last few months, it still looks like a good choice for those looking for 5G stocks.

5G stock info

(Image credit: Ericsson)

Exchange: STO: ERIC-B

Current price: SEK 96.10

Market cap: SEK 322.88bn

Year high: SEK 105.10

Year low: SEK 59.54

P/E ratio: 114.24

Dividend yield: 1.56%

Hot 5G stock: Ericsson

Ericsson (STO: ERIC-B) stock jumped 10% on the 17th July, as the company - buoyed by the news that Huawei 5G kit must be removed from the UK from 2027 - announced its second quarter figures, which include a 4% increase in network sales, despite the significant effects of the  coronavirus pandemic.

Strategic contracts, especially those in China, were flagged up by Ericsson as a cause for confidence, and it will no doubt be looking to expand on key partnerships, such as winning an 11.5% stake in a recent $52bn China Mobile tender (the only European company to do so).

Elsewhere, strong investments in R&D have resulted in the company’s patent licensing business continuing to perform well, due to its impressive IPR portfolio, much of which has taken place in the 5G market with “proven performance and cost of ownership benefits".

“We have continued to increase our market share in several markets by leveraging our competitive product portfolio,” Ericsson's Q2 report says. “Profitability in earlier awarded strategic contracts has improved according to plan. We consider strategic contracts to be a natural part of the business and we will stop our forward looking commentary unless there is an extraordinary impact.”

To top off a good period for the company, it also announced recently that it would be working in Oman to help deliver 5G, as part of a multi-year partnership. And this resulted in the company's share price rising from 87.64 SEK to 96.86 SEK in just 24 hours.

5G stock info

(Image credit: Nokia)

Exchange: OMXH

Current price: €3.28

Market cap: €18.60bn

Year high: €4.84

Year low: €2.08

P/E ratio: 29.66

Dividend yield: 3.04%

Hot 5G stock: Nokia

In October 2019 Nokia (HEL: NOKIA) dropped its 2019/2020 outlook as profits came under pressure due to the company spending more on its 5G networks

Whilst Nokia did meet third-quarter expectations, it still decided to cut profit predictions. On top of this, the company paused dividend payments in order to raise investments for 5G. The extra investments that 5G demands put pressure on the company's finances, and as a result Nokia shares plummeted by 21%. 

However, there are definitely green shoots of a recovery coming through, and Nokia has been vocal about its support for open O-RAN technologies, which will be music to the ears of potential partners that may be looking to move away from Huawei.

Nokia has also announced its next-generation 5G AirScale Cloud RAN solution based on vRAN2.0, which will be commercially available in 2020. And earlier this year it announced a €400m 5G deal with Taiwan Mobile.

This news has seen a steady rise in the share price this week or around €0.15, and with further announcements expected from Nokia over the next few weeks, Nokia is looking a lot more appealing for investors. 

5G stock info

(Image credit: Ciena)

Exchange: NYSE

Current price:  $39.11

Market cap: $6.80bn

Year high: $61.52

Year low: $30.58

P/E ratio: 16.29

Dividend yield: -

Hot 5G stock: Ciena

Ciena Corporation (NYSE: CIEN) is a US-based fiber networking specialist, which also produces a number of software-based products that enable network operators to manage xHaul (existing backhaul and fronthaul networks) within 5G networks and beyond.

Ciena specializes in the installation and management of fiber optic networks, which are an essential part of the 5G networking infrastructure, and although other technologies can be used for IP transport, fiber is still the preferred choice.

During the company's fiscal 2020 second quarter, revenue increased by a conservative 3.4%, but adjusted earnings per share rocketed up by 58%, which is a reliable indicator that investors see a positive future for Ciena’s fiber solutions such as its Adaptive IP product. Although, due to the coronavirus pandemic, shares took a hit earlier this year, despite still being up year-on-year. For those that already own Ciena stock, now is not the time to sell. But it may be good point for investors to consider them, as historically Ciena posts annual growth.

And whilst Ciena doesn’t have the heady market cap of many companies operating in and around the 5G market, it is a traditionally strong performer, with year-on-year growth over the last five years.

As more networks make the move to 5G standalone, and upgrade networking infrastructure accordingly, Ciena will be well placed to handle installation, configuration, and management of fiber optic backhaul within 5G networks.

5G stock info

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

 Exchange: NASDAQ

Current price: $113.55

Market cap: $129.19bn

Year high: $123.93

Year low: $58.00

P/E ratio: 48.41

Dividend yield: 2.27% 

Hot 5G stock: Qualcomm

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is one of the most prominent tech stocks in the field of 5G, and following a market-wide slump in the wake of coronavirus, Qualcomm's share price has recovered incredibly well. 

According to Yahoo! Finance: "One of the stand out quality metrics for Qualcomm Inc is its 5-year Return on Capital Employed, which is a solid 13.0%. Good, double-digit ROCEs are a pointer to companies that can grow very profitably."

And Qualcomm has also seen its stock on the rise following the recent announcement that Qualcomm was launching its new Robotics RB5 platform, which integrates key capabilities such as high-performance heterogeneous computing, 5G/LTE, hi-fidelity sensor processing for perception, odometry for localization, mapping, navigation, strong security, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The news instigated a six dollar jump in Qualcomm's share price, as the momentum around 5G use cases within the industrial sectors. (The Qualcomm Robotics RB5 platform is designed for the next generation of high compute, low-power robots and drones for the consumer, enterprise, defense, industrial and professional service sectors.)

5G stock info

(Image credit: Aviat Networks)

Exchange: NASDAQ

Current price: $20.52

Market cap: $111.00m

Year high: $22.49

Year low: $7.10

P/E ratio: 42.40

Dividend yield: -

Hot 5G stock: Aviat

Aviat Networks (NASDAQ: AVNW) recently announced that it is working with Safaricom, the largest telecom company in Kenya, to deliver a backhaul connection in remote areas using microwave technology.

Rolling out 5G in more remote locations poses a number of challenges for mobile network operators (MNOs) around the world, one of the biggest being establishing a backhaul connection when there isn’t the option to run fiber or copper cable to a cell site.

In these cases, MNOs are turning to microwave frequency bands, which, although having extremely poor general coverage, are perfect for focusing a narrower beam, which creates a point-to-point connection between sites, and can deliver speeds of up to 10Gbps, over a distance of six miles

And Aviat says that its multi-band products, such as the The WTM 4800, provide the lowest TCO for 5G backhaul, especially in countries, like Kenya, where the cost of microwave spectrum is high.

Aviat Networks has net cash of $25m. This is fairly high, at 32% of its market capitalization, with a P/E ratio of 38.80, which indicates high investor expectations for the company.

5G stock info

(Image credit: Vodafone)

Exchange: LON: VOD

Current price: £104.64

Market cap: £27.92bn

Year high: £169.46

Year low: £1.38

P/E ratio: -

Dividend yield: 0.076%

Hot 5G stock: Vodafone

Vodafone Group Plc (LON: VOD)  may not be an instant choice for investors looking to buy 5G stocks, but it is generating growing interest from analysts, following the company’s 50 percent shares sell-off over the past five years. 

Just like any other investment, Vodafone stock can give no guarantee of financial success, but it could be a good choice for those looking to invest in a company that’s in a state of recovery, which Vodafone clearly is.

And Vodafone recently became the first UK mobile operator to switch on a live Open Radio Access Network (OpenRAN) 4G site, which it says will enable the introduction of more suppliers for mobile networks. The site is located at the Royal Welsh Showground in Powys, Wales, and will deliver 4G services to the town of Builth Wells, which sits in the Wye Valley, and has a population of 2,568.

“This is our first live OpenRAN site in the UK, and that’s an important milestone,” said Scott Petty, CTO at Vodafone UK. “This new approach has the ability to make us less dependent on current larger technology suppliers, and find ways to reduce the cost of rolling out mobile coverage. OpenRAN can also help close the digital divide between urban and rural Britain.”

5G stock info

(Image credit: American Tower)

Exchange: NYSE

Current price: $235.00

Market cap: $106.37bn

Year high: $272.20

Year low: $174.32

P/E ratio: 55.62

Dividend yield: 1.90%

Hot 5G stock: American Tower Corporation

American Tower Corporation (NYSE: AMT) is an owner and operator of wireless infrastructure. This company has an impressive $108.23bn market cap and a huge global footprint. AMT owns over 170,000 telecom infrastructure sites, and so is perfectly placed to benefit from 5G. 

At the beginning of the year AMT stock rose by nearly 2% after it was upgraded to ‘Buy’ by Goldman Sachs, as they see rapid growth from expanding 5G coverage. 

However, the stock has seen more conservative increases as the company was hit by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and the slowing roll out of 5G around the world.

But, like other communications infrastructure companies, the next few months should see a return to previous levels of growth, and the company has still seen a $0.20 increase in shares since January.

Add to this the increasingly defensive position of the US government when it comes to technology providers, and the future looks bright for the American Tower Corporation, as demand for 5G infrastructure continues to grow. 

5G stock info

(Image credit: MediaTek)

Exchange: TPE

Current price: 583.00 TWD

Market cap: 958.03bn TWD

Year high: 763.00 TWD

Year low: 273.00 TWD

P/E ratio: 36.51

Dividend yield: 1.74%

Hot 5G stock: MediaTek

In August 2020, US sanctions on Huawei were extended to MediaTek Inc. (2454:Taiwan), as the US DOC announced that it has added 38 Huawei affiliates to the US government's economic blacklist, taking the total to 152.

This caused a 10% drop in MediaTek’s share price, but this knee-jerk drop, alarming as it was for investors, doesn’t really paint a true picture of MediaTek’s investment potential. In fact, it may have made it even more appealing for investors willing to look at the longer-term.

MediaTek recently announced its 7nm Dimensity 800U chipset, which has an impressive list of features, supporting sub-6Ghz SA and NSA networks, whilst also supporting technologies such as 5G+5G dual SIM dual standby (DSDS), dual Voice over New Radio (VoNR), and 5G two carrier aggregation (2CC 5G-CA).

And with MediaTek chips already used in phones from manufacturers such as OPPO, Samsung, Vivo, and Xiaomi, the tighter restrictions on MediaTek might not be as damaging as some investors fear.

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.