Nanotechnology refers to technologies based on materials between 1 and 100 nanometers in size, which is the microscopic level. Accordingly, the production of such materials from nanotechnology stocks represent impressive upside, for those bullish on certain key industries.
The products various nanotechnology stocks are focused on vary. But these range from body armor to solar panels, surface protection materials and food. Solar panels are a clear growth focus in nanotechnology as sales thrive. But the applications are much greater.
At a much smaller scale, the physical properties of nanoparticles become very different from their larger counterparts. That implies that scientists will surely develop new materials utilizing nanotechnology with future commercial potential.
With that said, here are three nanotechnology stocks I’ve got on my radar right now.
Analog Devices (ADI)
Analog Devices (NASDAQ:ADI) is a semiconductor stock and a company deeply involved with nanotechnology. The firm primarily produces integrated circuits, power management products, and other microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).
The company is based in Wilmington, MA, in the Boston metropolitan area. That gives it access to world-class talent and a hub of other resources. The company was founded by MIT graduates, and Analog Devices is also a founding partner of MIT.nano. MIT.nano includes a 214,000-square-foot facility dedicated to studying nanoscience and nanotechnology. In short, Analog Devices is one of the most connected firms in nanotechnology.
Analog Devices primarily serves the industrial B2B end market. However, it has also carved out a strong presence in the automotive and communication sectors.
It’s also a very profitable company with a strong commitment to its shareholders. It returns 100% of free cash flow to shareholders, redistributing $12 billion in capital over the last five years. So, it’s safe to say that Analog Devices will remain deeply connected to nanotech far into the future.
Thermo Fisher (TMO)
Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO) is a promising nanotechnology stock, not because it produces novel nanotech. It doesn’t. Instead, Thermo Fisher Scientific is one of the companies integral to studying nanotech and understanding its applicability to business.
The company sells complex analytical products and software that allows researchers to understand nanoparticles. Without its products and services, nanotechnology breakthroughs become less-likely.
The company is a broad servicer to the scientific community, and its products and services extend far beyond nanotech. It produces all kinds of testing equipment for the physical sciences. The company has certainly benefited from the pandemic, and the resulting boom in testing supply demand.
That resulted in lower profits in the first quarter, down by 9% year-over-year. However, the company is keen to reward its investors even as sales slow down in the post-pandemic hangover. As a result, the company repurchased $3 billion of stock, while increasing its dividend by 17%. That makes it a compelling purchase with a reasonable narrative, despite slowing sales.
Applied Materials (AMAT)
Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) is another semiconductor stock. It provides chip manufacturing equipment, software, and services to firms across the sector. In addition, the firm has deep expertise in technologies for modifying the properties of materials, including multiple highly-technical fields named here.
Applied Materials’ Maydan Technology Center is a billion-dollar investment in leading-edge semiconductors. Its Materials Engineering Technology Accelerator (META) is another hub where leading nanotech is engineered and commercialized.
The company approved a large buyback in March and increased its dividend from 26 to 32 cents. Over time, the most recent buyback authorization provides $10 billion in share repurchases. This authorization follows a $4.7 billion share buyback program launched in fiscal Q1. Applied Materials is promising, not only in terms of its technological prowess in nanotech, but also because its target price implies a strong upside for current buyers. Thus, Applied Materials remains one of the few providers in its particular space as well.
On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.