Foxconn Technology Group is a division of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. (OTCMKT: HNHPD). You can start buying foreign stocks like Hon Hai in a variety of ways if you’re based in the U.S., including with a regular U.S. brokerage account. Here’s how to invest in Foxconn.
Overview: History, Pros and Cons of Investing in Foxconn
Based in Tucheng, New Taipei, Taiwan, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. originally began as an electrical component manufacturer. The company has evolved to become the world’s largest electronic manufacturing service and the largest private employer in Taiwan.
History of Foxconn
Terry Gou founded Foxconn’s parent company Hon Hai Precision in 1974 with just $7,500. He based his company on his vision of manufacturing electronics products that almost anyone could afford.
The Foxconn Technology Group division of Hon Hai is now the leader in joint design, development, manufacturing, assembly and after-sales logistics and services to the world leaders in the 3 Cs: computers, consumer electronics and communications.
Foxconn’s vertically-integrated, one-stop business model is called e-enabled Components, Modules, Moves and Services (eCMMS) and it streamlines every step of the manufacturing process to offer a complete solution tailored to the needs and specifications of Foxconn’s clients.
Foxconn’s eCMMS model offers client solutions that range from tooling, molding, components, systems assembly, design, manufacturing, maintenance and logistics. The company is the most trusted name for contract manufacturing services, including computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), certified energy managers (CEM), electronics manufacturing services (EMS) and original design manufacturing (ODM).
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is Foxconn’s largest customer and Foxconn manufactures its iPhones and other devices in mainland China and India. Foxconn also manufactures electronics under its own subsidiary brands of Sharp, Linksys and Belkin, in addition to servicing other major clients.
These include Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN), Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Acer Inc., Nintendo (OTCMKTS: NTDOY), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Sony (NYSE: SNE).
Pros and Cons of the Stock
As with just about any stock or investment, you’ll find reasons to invest in a stock and equally valid reasons against buying it. Below you will find some of the pros and cons of buying Hon Hai stock so that you can invest in its Foxconn subsidiary.
Here are some benefits of Foxconn's stock.
- Industry leader: Foxconn’s owner Hon Hai Precision is the world’s largest electronics manufacturing services provider and the world’s 4th largest information technology firm by revenue, behind only Apple Inc. Samsung Electronics (OTCMKTS: SSNLF) and Amazon.com. For over a decade, Hon Hai has been ranked 1st among Taiwanese enterprises by Taiwan Ratings and 1st out of 2000 Taiwanese companies by CommonWealth Magazine.
- Multiple growth drivers: In exchange for $3 billion in tax credit incentives over the next 15 years, Hon Hai will make a $10 billion investment in the U.S. Current plans are to construct a state-of-the-art liquid crystal display (LCD) panel manufacturing plant in Wisconsin over the next 4 years. The company has also begun production of Apple products in India and has considered moving some of its manufacturing operations to Vietnam due to the risk of U.S. tariffs imposed on goods manufactured in China.
- Hon Hai stock under $5 per share: Hon Hai stock has sold off in recent weeks, even though the company reported better than expected 2nd-quarter earnings due to the recent downturn in the Chinese economy and the ongoing trade war with the U.S. The HNHPF American depositary receipt (ADR) currently trades at just $4.66 per share and pays a dividend that yields 1.76% annually. This level is only $0.35 above its 52-week low of $4.31 per share and is considerably below its high of $6.82 seen over the same time frame.
Make sure you note these considerations of Foxconn.
- Global economic and stock market downturn: A global economic downturn could adversely affect Foxconn’s business, and the recent softness in the Chinese economy has already negatively affected its stock’s price. The company and its stock do have defensive qualities, which could help it weather an economic downturn better than more cyclical stocks. In addition, Foxconn has put its newly-constructed $8.8 billion LCD manufacturing plant in Guangzhou, China up for sale due to a slowdown in the mainland Chinese economy.
- Effects of the U.S./China trade war: Foxconn still manufactures iPhones and other devices in plants across mainland China, so its business could be adversely affected by the current U.S./China trade war.
- Risk of a slowdown in Apple product demand: More than half of Hon Hai’s revenue comes from Foxconn’s manufacturing of Apple Inc. products, which is substantial exposure to a single client. Recent events have also led Foxconn to consider moving its base for making Apple products to Vietnam. It has already started producing Apple devices in India.
How to Buy Foxconn Stock in the U.S.
- Buy ADRs for Hon Hai Stock
You can buy Hon Hai’s stock to invest in its Foxconn division using several different methods, but keep in mind that knowing how to trade is just as important as choosing the right broker.
The easiest way to invest in Foxconn for U.S.-based individuals is by purchasing ADRs or global depositary receipts (GDRs) for Hon Hai stock. These financial instruments are designed to make buying and selling foreign stocks easier, especially for U.S.-based investors.
A depositary receipt is a negotiable instrument issued by a depositary bank that represents shares in a publicly-traded foreign company. Depositary receipts typically trade on major exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ Exchange (NASDAQ).
Since the listing requirements for the two aforementioned exchanges can be unrealistic for some international companies, many ADRs and GDRs trade on the pink sheets or over-the-counter market (OTCMKT) instead.
You can buy ADRs for Hon Hai stock via any reputable U.S. stockbroker that has access to the OTCMKT electronic exchange. You may even be able to buy Hon Hai ADRs through free stock trading brokers like Webull or Robinhood, so check with them if you already have an account to see if they will allow you to trade pink sheet stocks.
Other U.S. brokers you might want to check out are E*TRADE and TD Ameritrade that both allow traders access to the OTCMKT exchange. Due to the high risk involved in pink sheet stocks, E*TRADE asks customers to sign a special agreement to trade them. Both brokers provide a user-friendly trading platform and research resources.
- Open an Account with an International Broker
Some online brokers that will accept U.S.-based clients provide international brokerage services that allow access to many foreign markets and they even support accounts in several currencies. Oversight for U.S. brokers is performed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for equities trading and by the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for futures, commodities and forex trading.
For example, Interactive Brokers is a U.S.-based international broker with the widest access to foreign markets of any online broker. It lets you trade multiple assets in over 120 exchanges around the globe regardless of where you’re located, since it accepts clients from all over the world. Interactive Brokers’ advanced trading platform is called Trader Workstation (TWS), and you can consolidate different account types and trade and track multiple assets in different markets.
You have your choice of buying Hon Hai stock through U.S. ADRs, directly from the Taiwan Stock Exchange or via mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This broker’s minimum deposit is $10,000, but you’ll get some of the best margin and commission rates in the business. Also, you may get charged an inactivity fee if your account remains idle, so expect to do some trading if you pick this broker.
Other U.S.-based brokers with access to international trading include Charles Schwab that offers an International account with a minimum initial deposit of $25,000. Fidelity Investments has no minimum deposit and offers excellent mutual funds and access to foreign markets.
- Buy an ETF or Mutual Fund
Another method of buying Hon Hai stock involves buying an ETF or mutual fund that includes the stock in its holdings. For example, an ETF that invests exclusively in Hon Hai stock is called the Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. ETF. This ETF trades in the U.K. under the symbol HHPD.
ETFs that trade in the U.S. and include investment in Foxconn include:
iShares MSCI Taiwan ETF (EWT) has 8.23% of its holdings invested in Hon Hai stock.
SPDR MSCI Taiwan Quality Mix ETF (QTWN) has 5.57% of its holdings in Hon Hai stock.
Deutsche X-trackers MSCI Emerging Markets High Dividend Yield Hedged Equity ETF (HDEE) has 4.79% of its holdings in Hon Hai stock.
First Trust Taiwan AlphaDEX Fund (FTW) has a weighting of just 3.21% in Hon Hai stock.
- Open an Account with a Taiwan-Based Stockbroker
This option may not be suitable for you unless you’re familiar with the standard Mandarin language used in Taiwan and have knowledge of how financial markets operate there. Before you can open an account with a stockbroker based in Taiwan, you’ll need to register online with the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) to obtain a Taiwanese investor ID and tax ID.
Once you have received those IDs, you must open an account with the Taiwan Depository Clearing Corp. You can then open a securities account with a TWSE-approved and regulated stockbroker. You will have to go through a process called “Know Your Client” (KYC), which generally takes about a week to get all your information verified. Next, buy Hon Hai stock on the TWSE to invest in Foxconn.
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The easiest way to invest in Foxconn from the U.S. is generally by buying Hon Hai stock using its OTC-traded ADR. You can trade Hon Hai ADRs and GDRs, as well as ETFs that contain Hon Hai holdings using any reputable online stockbroker that has access to ETF trading and trading in pink sheet stocks.
The next best option involves going through a U.S.-based international broker like Interactive Brokers where you can buy Hon Hai stock directly from the TWSE. The most cumbersome option for a U.S. investor would definitely be opening an account with a local stockbroker in Taiwan due to the extra steps involved.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I buy shares of Foxconn?
You can purchase shares through ADRs, ETFs, or opening a brokerage account that makes trades in Taiwan.
Who are Foxconn’s customers?
Foxconn manufactures electronic components for companies such as Apple.
About Jay and Julie Hawk
During her financial career, Julie developed world-class expertise in technical analysis, including Elliott Wave Theory, and was deeply involved in initiating research into automated trading and trading signal systems. As a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Guild, Julie regularly wrote trade strategies, educational material, market commentary, foreign exchange newsletters, reports, articles and press releases. In addition, Julie was interviewed for various financial markets magazines and news wires in her professional capacity as a forex and derivatives expert. Since retiring from working at banks, Julie has been writing and editing books and articles about financial markets for companies like Benzinga, as well as trading forex online and mentoring other traders as part of TheFXperts’ financial team.
In addition to trading stock index, forex and commodity futures and options professionally on exchange floors, Jay also has experience trading stocks and options for private investors and trading forex online for his own account. He has also developed extensive experience in performing and using fundamental economic and corporate analysis to inform his trading and investment activities. Jay is also an expert financial writer with particular expertise in reviewing online brokers and investor services.