Silicon Valley's Best Chip Stocks of the Bull Market

Semiconductors are synonymous with Silicon Valley.

SANTA CLARA, CA - March 12:This handout image from Intel Corp. shows a die shot of the Centrino processor chip released by Intel on March 12, 2003 in Santa Clara, California. According to Int
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Semiconductors are synonymous with Silicon Valley. Chip makers started popping up at the southern end of San Francisco Bay as early as the 1950s. A big draw back then as now: Stanford University and its bevy of researchers and research facilities. Today, seven of the biggest publicly traded semiconductor companies still call Silicon Valley home, with headquarters in such tech-friendly California cities as Santa Clara and San Jose.

Despite the steady decline in computer sales in recent years -- semiconductors are the brains inside PCs -- all seven of these chip stocks have performed well during the current long-running bull market. In fact, six of the seven have handily outpaced the 348% total return (including dividends) of Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index since March 9, 2009. The seventh isn't far behind.

But some Silicon Valley chip stocks have performed significantly better than others over the past eight-and-a-half years. Four of the seven have even beaten the remarkable 530% total return of the Nasdaq-100 Index, which is made up of the largest non-financial stocks listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market by market capitalization. Check out Silicon Valley's best semiconductor stocks of the bull market.

Return data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Prices and returns as of Oct. 13, 2017. Due to the multiple share classes issued by some companies, the Nasdaq-100 Index currently consists of 107 stocks. Market capitalization represents share price multiplied by the number of shares outstanding. The seven stocks on this list, which represent the seven semiconductor companies included in the Nasdaq-100 that are headquartered in Silicon Valley, are listed in order of total returns during the current bull market, from lowest percentage return to highest.

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer,

Dan Burrows is Kiplinger's senior investing writer, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.

A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.

Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.

In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics, demographics, real estate and more.

Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.

Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.