Chip Stocks Fall After Texas Instruments, STMicro Report Slowing Demand

Published on: 24 Oct, 2018

Semiconductor stocks slumped on Wednesday after Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) and Franco-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics NV (NYSE: STM) warned of slowing demand.

While TI shares were down 6% in premarket trading, STMicro's stock was down 8%. Shares of Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ: CY), NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ: NXPI), and Analog Devices (NASDAQ: ADI) were also down nearly 2% before the bell, while Micron Technologies (NASDAQ: MU), Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) shares were also set to open lower.

TI, which forecast its weakest fourth quarter since 2013 on Tuesday, is known for making analog chips that turn signals like sound, pressure and light to electrical signals and are used in products ranging from cars to mobile phones.

That wide presence makes Texas Instruments a bellwether for semiconductor companies, whose supply chains span continents and a weak guidance by one of them affects others.

TI said it expects fourth-quarter earnings of USD 1.14 to USD 1.34 per share, on revenue of USD 3.60 Billion to USD 3.90 Billion, lower than analysts' estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

"A diversified industrial/auto-heavy business model, run by a well-regarded management team, we consider TI's 4Q cut to be one of the first credible signals of an early stage semiconductor cycle correction," Oppenheimer analyst Rick Schafer wrote in a client note.

Chipmakers in recent quarters have struggled with oversupply, a problem that could worsen if demand for automobiles in China keeps weakening, or if U.S. President Donald Trump places tariffs on smartphones, televisions or other Chinese products manufactured with semiconductors.

TI's European rival STMicro on Wednesday forecast weaker-than-expected revenue growth for the fourth quarter, citing soft market conditions in China and some inventory corrections. Chip gear maker MKS Instruments also forecast a weak quarter, saying it expects the semiconductor market to continue to face headwinds in the near term.

At least eight brokerages cut their price targets on TI's stock. Brokerage SunTrust was the most bearish and lowered its price target to USD 93 from USD 120.

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Austin Chiu

Email: Austin@financialinsiders.com

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