August 3rd, 2022 | 12:52 CEST
Is the turnaround coming for chip stocks? Intel, Nvidia, BrainChip, Aixtron and AMD
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"[...] In Canada, there is $1.75 of debt for every dollar of disposable income - and that was true even before the pandemic. [...]" Karim Nanji, CEO, Marble Financial
Intel, AMD, Infineon, Nvidia - catastrophic figures ahead
Horror figures, disaster....! The media did not shy away from superlatives when announcing the results for the second quarter. Intel shocked analysts and investors alike, who subsequently acknowledged this with a share price drop of over 10%. The one-time market leader saw its revenue drop 22% to USD 15.32 billion, alienating a crowd of analysts still expecting USD 18.62 billion.
Adjusted earnings per share were USD 0.29, compared with the expected USD 0.70. The net result was a loss of USD 454 million; last year Intel still generated a profit of almost USD 5 billion. The gross margin fell from 50.4% in Q1 2022 to just 36.5% in Q2 2022.
"The sudden and rapid decline in economic activity was the primary reason for the shortfall, but Q2 also reflected our own execution issues in areas such as product design and ramping up AXG (Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group) offerings," CEO Gelsinger said, explaining the downturn.
The reins have been tightened once again for the full year, and forecasts have been lowered. Management led by CEO Patrick Gelsinger, the world's highest-paid executive at USD 179.00 million last year, expects adjusted earnings per share of USD 2.30. The original estimate was USD 3.60 per share. The revenue target was restated in a range of USD 65 billion to USD 68 billion. Previously, Intel wanted to generate up to USD 76 billion.
It is well known that the problems are homemade, and Intel has been working on restructuring for a long time. Thus, this strong revenue downturn should not be completely transferable to the entire industry. Investors should gain new insights when the competition presents its figures for the second quarter. Advanced Micro Devices delivered yesterday after the close of the stock market, while the German player Infineon plans to surprise positively today, Wednesday. Nvidia, on the other hand, is not expected to attract investors' attention until August 24.
BrainChip - Entry into the mass market
The next-generation chip is currently being developed by the Australian IP company BrainChip. The novel technology of the Akida chip could see a market shift in the near future that could shake up the incumbents. Another possibility would be the acquisition of the revolutionary technology by a global player, which would likely make BrainChip an attractive takeover candidate. It is no coincidence that the Akida chip was recently accepted into the AI Partner Program by ARM. Mercedes-Benz also relies on the novel technology for its EQXX.
The USP of the innovative processor lies in the fact that it is very low-power, high-performance and promotes the growth of edge AI technology through the use of neuromorphic architecture, a type of artificial intelligence inspired by the biology of the human brain. Experts see it as significantly more efficient than traditional chips, as it can learn independently with each process. Application areas, therefore, revolve around future topics such as autonomous driving, robotics and the Internet of Things.
"Unlocking the future of AI" is what it says on the Company's homepage, which has already opened the door wide to the mass market. After a strong correction and a one-year low at AUD 0.76, BrainChip's stock has recovered sharply and stabilized above the AUD 1.00 level. Akida technology is also in high demand among major players. If further partnerships are announced, the next ramp-up should start. The all-time high was AUD 2.34 at the beginning of the year.
Aixtron - Analysts divided
The Herzogenrath-based Company already announced its figures for the second quarter at the end of July. Aixtron benefited from high demand from almost all end markets and recorded the highest order intake since 2011. It amounted to approximately EUR 283 million in the second quarter, 7% higher than a year earlier. At the half-year mark on June 30, 2022, a total of EUR 314 million was on the books. Sales grew by around 51% to EUR 102.5 million, and the gross margin was 37%, as in the same period last year. EBIT tripled to EUR 17.2 million. As a result, profits doubled to EUR 17.3 million.
The MDAX member expects order intake to be between EUR 520 million and EUR 580 million for the full year. Sales should be between EUR 450 million and EUR 500 million, with a gross margin of around 41%.
Various analyst houses expressed different opinions here. Private bank Berenberg raised its price target for Aixtron from EUR 26 to EUR 28 after quarterly figures and left its rating at "buy". In contrast, DZ Bank is significantly more pessimistic and downgraded the stock from "buy" to "sell". The price target was also lowered from EUR 27 to currently EUR 22.
After the strong correction in chip stocks, the second quarter number season is now upon us. The former market leader, Intel, disappointed but has internal restructuring problems. On the other hand, AMD, Infineon and Nvidia could see a turnaround. BrainChip is on the verge of a breakthrough in the mass market and has high growth potential in the long term.
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