With an industrywide boom in semiconductor sales running out of steam, the sector is dividing into two camps.
Chip companies that cater to automakers, data centers and industrial firms are still trying to keep up with demand, while those exposed to consumer electronics are stuck with inventory as sales slow.
Sales of both memory and PC chips got boosts during the pandemic as demand surged for mobile phones, computers and other work-from-home electronics.
Texas Instruments Inc. and NXP Semiconductors NV issued bullishforecasts last month on strong demand for industrial and auto products, and their shares have risen since then. Apple Inc. supplier SK Hynix Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. announced underwhelming outlooks tied to a dip in demand for consumer electronics, and their stocks have fallen. Memory-chip maker Micron Technology Inc. is an outlier, with its stock gaining since June 30, when it published a surprisingly downbeat forecast.
Intel Corp., the biggest maker of personal-computer processors, last week also slashed sales and profit forecasts for the rest of the year. The stock is down about 10% since then.
“Intel suffers from significant overshipping in the PC channel in past several quarters,” Tristan Gerra, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., wrote in a note. “Shift in consumer patterns away from Covid-times at-home entertainment devices, combined with weak first-half seasonality, suggests no PC recovery near-term.”
Intel also shocked Wall Street with an unexpected 16% drop in revenue from expensive server chips that power data centers, a sector that is still seeing healthy demand but heightened competition from the likes of AMD and Nvidia Corp.