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By some standards, InvenSense (NYSE: INVN) is a good company just waiting for its day in the sun. After all, the company makes motion sensors for some of Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung's most popular smartphones, and it is moving further into the burgeoning Internet of Things segment.
But instead of bringing success, Apple and Samsung have pushed down the InvenSense average selling prices. At the same time, Samsung has moved away from some of InvenSense's technology, and Apple's iPhone sales have taken a hit over the past few quarters, taking InvenSense with it.
Essentially, InvenSense is a company with good technology that it can't make much more money from -- and its stock has taken a beating because of it. InvenSense's stock price is now down 24% year to date.
As the company struggles to find its footing (perhaps in the promising IoT segment), investors should look elsewhere for more promising opportunities.
Here are two:
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NVIDIA's long-term potential
NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) is a leader in the graphics processing units (GPUs) and graphics cards space, and its stock is up nearly 90% year to date.
That rise has come with the company consistently delivering strong revenue growth from its gaming, professional visualization, data center, and automobile segments, as well as its expansion into new markets.
NVIDIA reported record revenue of $1.43 billion in fiscal Q2 2017 (up 24% year over year), boosted its professional visualization revenue by 21.5%, improved data center revenue by 110%, and jumped its automobile segment revenue by 67%. Gaming is the company's biggest moneymaker, and that segment's revenue increased by 18% year over year.
NVIDIA holds about 66% of the discrete GPU market right now, and there appears to be no slowing down. The company's announcement of three new notebook graphics cards that come within 10% of the performance of their desktop counterparts proves there's still plenty of room for the company to grow this segment.
The company is showing that it has what it takes to be a great long-term investment as it continues to strengthen its core businesses while expanding into new segments likedriverless cars.
Apple's continual strength
It's easy to think that the time for cashing in on Apple is long over for investors, but that's not true. Consider that the company's stock is currently trading at just under 13 times earnings (far below the tech sector average of 25), and Apple is just getting started in new markets like wearable technology.
Apple is the No. 1 smartwatch vendor, according to data from IDC, and far surpassed its closest competitor, Samsung, by nearly 1 million smartwatch shipments in the second quarter of 2016.
The company is expected to debut two new versions of its Apple Watch, with minor changes, this fall. The new features may not be enough to convince the general public that smartwatches are worth the high price, but they should be enough to easily keep Apple in the smartwatch lead.
Research firm Tractica expects the Apple Watch to hold the dominant smartwatch position until 2020, if not longer.
And if you think Apple isn't innovating enough, consider that the company is likely expanding into the automotive segment with its rumored Project Titan car.
Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty believes Apple may be going after the shared mobility market that could be worth $2.6 trillion by 2030. And she believes Apple could take 16% of the market by that same year -- with $400 billion in annual revenue.
While InvenSense could still right its wrongs, Apple and NVIDIA are clearly safer bets right now for investors. InvenSense's beaten-down status may be tempting for value investors, but the company has consistently failed to deliver on its opportunities, while NVIDIA and Apple have brought investors huge gains.
A secret billion-dollar stock opportunity
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Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple, InvenSense, and Nvidia. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2018 $90 calls on Apple and short January 2018 $95 calls on Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.