I have begun providing analyst conference summaries for TTM Technologies (symbol: TTMI). See my main TTM Technologies page and the July 29, 2008 TTM Technologies analyst conference summary.
I did some research on companies that manufacture PCBs (printed circuit boards) in 2007 and liked TTM because of its profitability and growth potential. I bought the stock in February 2008 as part of an effort to diversify and buy stocks cheap during this liquidity squeeze.
TTM Technologies is a relatively high-end PCB maker with clients like Cisco. It does not make the raw boards. Rather it prepares boards for population with electronics parts by drilling the necessary holes and providing the copper tracks that connect the elements. In most cases it produces boards with multiple planes of copper and insulator.
Much of this business has moved to Taiwan and mainland China. However, there are a couple of reasons TTM and other companies are still able to operate in the United States. One is the need to make prototype boards prior to large production runs. The other is the need for high quality engineering and manufacturing that cannot be easily matched.
TTMI's 2nd quarter showed an ability to hold up well in a tricky economic environment. TTM generates cash very nicely. It is looking to acquire an Asian PCB manufacturer so that it can serve its customers need for low-cost, large scale runs, in addition to the low and medium volume work that it makes sense to do in the United States.
TTM has the usual risk of competitive pressures from both domestic and foreign PCB manufacturers.
So ... keep diversified!
TTM Technologies web site