The last three times this chip stock traded here it soared nearly 50%

Just one chipmaker is negative for the year: Qualcomm.

The stock is down 8 percent for the year, the sole stock on the SMH semiconductor ETF in the red for 2019. It is stuck at nearly half its record high set during the dot-com boom in 2000.

But if history is any indication, the beaten-down stock could be about to break out, says Matt Maley, equity strategist at Miller Tabak.

"The $50 has been incredibly good support for the stock for the last three years-plus. Each time it's gotten down to that level, not only has it bounced but it's bounced anywhere from 40 to 50 percent," Maley said on CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Thursday. "Now we've gotten back down to that level and bounced again."

The last three times Qualcomm bumped against $50 a share — in early 2016, mid-2016 and early 2018 — the stock raced higher, even moving above $75 last year. A 50 percent move higher would take Qualcomm above $78.

"If it can see any upside follow through, it may not get the same kind of 40 to 50 percent bounce it's gotten each of the last few years, but it should gain a lot of momentum and see a much bigger bounce than people are looking for," added

The Street has an average $63.41 price target on Qualcomm, according to FactSet estimates. That's 20 percent upside from current levels of around $52 a share.

S&P Global portfolio manager Erin Gibbs says the stock may not see a breakout as large as 50 percent, but the stock does offer some value to a buy-and-hold investor.

"Qualcomm is actually pretty well positioned," Gibbs said on "Trading Nation" on Thursday. "We think it's a great value. We think the fact that 5G is definitely the next generation and Qualcomm has their foot well in place for that is one of the better plays within the semi industry."

Qualcomm trades at nearly 13 times forward earnings, below the 15 times multiple on the SMH ETF.

"I don't necessarily know whether it will be a 50 percent jump right away or if this might take some time, but this looks like one of your safer bets in the semi industry," Gibbs added.

Disclosure: S&P Global holds Qualcomm in its portfolios.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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