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Oct 20, 2020

Texas Instruments gives strong forecast on automotive demand

Fiat Chrysler vehicles at a car dealership.

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Texas Instruments Inc. projected revenue for the current quarter that topped analysts’ estimates, indicating demand for chips used in cars and personal electronics is rebounding.

Profit will be US$1.20 to US$1.40 a share, on sales of US$3.41 billion to US$3.69 billion in the period ending in December, the company said Tuesday in a statement. On average, analysts predicted profit of US$1.20 a share and sales of US$3.35 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Shares gained 2 per cent in extended trading after closing at US$150.83 in New York. The stock has increased 18 per cent this year, lagging behind the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index, which has jumped 29 per cent.

Texas Instruments has more than 100,000 customers ranging from makers of consumer electronics to space hardware. That breadth of reach makes its earnings and forecasts a proxy for demand across the economy.Some analysts have pointed to recovering orders for chips used in cars and factory machinery as signs that declines in the company’s revenue would slow, even as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on. Others have expressed concerns that the bump is coming from electronics makers stocking up on inventory to guard against supply disruptions rather than to meet surging demand.

Three months ago, Texas Instruments executives cautioned that while the decline in demand wasn’t as steep as in 2008, they were concerned about the overall economy.

In the third quarter, net income fell to US$1.35 billion, or US$1.45 per share, from US$1.43 billion, or US$1.49, a year earlier, the Dallas-based company said. Revenue was little changed at US$3.82 billion, topping analysts’ average estimate of US$3.45 billion.