Apr.2024 26
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Bellwether Texas Instruments Set for Biggest Gain Since 2020
Texas Instruments Inc. shares jumped in premarket trading, setting up the stock for the biggest gain in four years after the company’s revenue forecast indicated a slump in demand may be easing.

Sales in the current period will be as much as $3.95 billion, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Analysts had estimated $3.78 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profit will be $1.05 to $1.25 a share, versus a prediction of $1.17.

The report suggests that customers have begun to resume ordering chips after working through stockpiles of components -- a good sign for the broader industry. Texas Instruments, which has the widest customer base among chipmakers, serves as a bellwether for confidence in the economy -- across industries ranging from space hardware to consumer electronics. 

Texas Instruments shares rose as much as 7.6% in premarket trading on Wednesday following the announcement. If the gains hold at open, it’ll be the biggest intraday jump since April 2020. 

Most of the customers in the company’s biggest segment -- industrial equipment makers -- have completed their inventory reduction efforts, Texas Instruments said. But some are still working through the process. That’s made for an uneven recovery in demand, Chief Financial Officer Rafael Lizardi said in an interview.

“Some end markets are still going down, and there are some that are behaving differently,” he said. “Ninety days ago, all end markets in industrial were going down.” 

Still, the company isn’t reading too much into these early signs, which could be false indicators, he said. The chipmaker said it would continue its policy of not making broad predictions about future demand. 

The forecast followed more than a year of shrinking sales. Revenue in first quarter declined 16% to $3.66 billion, marking the lowest level since 2020. Analysts had estimated $3.6 billion. Profit was $1.20 a share, down from $1.85 a year earlier.

The stock had lagged behind a rally by the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index this year. Investors have poured money into companies such as Nvidia Corp., rewarding them for the surge in orders related to artificial intelligence computing. 

Texas Instruments, meanwhile, is the biggest maker of analog semiconductors and embedded processors. Its products perform simple but vital functions, such as converting power to different voltages within electronics.

Though some of its chips are used in the same machinery as Nvidia’s processors, many more of its products perform more prosaic roles in household electronics, factory machinery and vehicles. 

Bloomberg News 

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