Meet 1 Winner in the Memory Wars

The world is thirsting for more and more memory chips. Silicon Motion (NAS: SIMO) shows you how to profit from that trend without getting caught in the memory industry's price wars.

The company just reported second-quarter sales of $50.5 million for a year-over-year jump of 58%. On the bottom line, non-GAAP earnings per depositary share soared from $0.09 to $0.29.

Driven by careening demand for flash memory in solid-state drives and consumer devices, Silicon Motion plans to keep this hyper growth up -- at least through the end of the year. For the full fiscal year, revenue is expected to jump 40% to 50% year-over-year. Strong sales to OEM manufacturers of smartphones, tablets, and other consumer devices are outweighing slow business from the memory module crowd.

In other words, Silicon Motion's customer mix is shifting away from memory-stick makers such as Micron Technology's (NAS: MU) Lexar division or Transcend, and over to gadget gurus ranging from Motorola Mobility (NYS: MMI) to Samsung.

Gigabytes of permanent storage are becoming an expected feature in all kinds of electronics, thus removing the need for add-in memory cards. This trend is making Apple (NAS: AAPL) look smart for refusing to stick ugly memory-card slots on its iPhones and iPads while Android designers never feared that unsightly yet user-friendly feature.

More memory means more memory controllers, which is why Silicon Motion loves the mobile market. Unlike the actual memory chips, whose prices have been declining rapidly amid a glut of oversupply in recent quarters, those controller chips are actually increasing in price.

That dichotomy explains why Silicon Motion shares have delivered a market-crushing 125% return over the past year while Micron and SanDisk (NAS: SNDK) owners had to settle for pretty much breakeven results. That's pricing power for you.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Micron Technology, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, as well as creating a bull call spread position in 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. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio, follow him on Twitter or Google+, or peruse our Foolish disclosure policy.

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