Chip stocks are one of the hottest sectors in the market.
The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF has more than doubled the S&P 500's year-to-date return. With this in mind, Stifel analyst Tore Svanberg gave his favorite semiconductor picks going into second-quarter earnings.
"Near-term, our recommendations continue to be targeted at companies with specific and favorable catalysts: MaxLinear (MXL), Cirrus Logic (CRUS) and Inphi (IPHI). All three companies are positioned with strong product cycles this year," Svanberg wrote in a note to clients Wednesday.
The picks have modest market caps in the $1 billion to $2.5 billion range and aren't as well known versus larger chipmakers.
Here is why he recommends the companies.