Texas Instruments Inc. issued a revenue forecast for the current quarter that disappointed some investors, raising concerns that the surge in chip demand caused by the pandemic will be fleeting. The stock fell in early trading in the United States.
Texas Instruments said in a statement Wednesday that sales for the fiscal year ending September will range from $4.4 billion to $4.76 billion. According to the company, profit will range between $1.87 and $2.13 per share. According to data, analysts predicted a profit of $1.97 per share and sales of $4.59 billion.
Texas Instruments, like other chipmakers, has reported multiple quarters of double-digit percentage revenue growth, boosted by demand for a wide range of devices containing its tiny electronic components. Analysts and investors have speculated that the rapid increase reflects panic buying by customers who are concerned that there will not be enough supply. In the past, such behavior has resulted in crashes.
The Dallas-based company manufactures everything from phones to military hardware and has tens of thousands of customers. The company’s position as the largest manufacturer of analog and embedded processing chips makes it a leading indicator of electronics demand. A large portion of its products are used in industrial machinery.
The amount of in-house inventory at Texas Instruments fell to 111 days in the third quarter, well short of the 130 to 190 days the company prefers to keep on hand. For an increasing number of products, lead times, or the time between placing an order and receiving delivery, have gotten longer. Despite numerous questions from analysts during a conference call, management declined to say whether they believe demand has peaked or whether current growth rates are sustainable.
“Our job isn’t to predict the future; it’s to prepare the company so that we can handle anything,” said Chief Financial Officer Rafael Lizardi in an interview. “Some might argue that things are different this time, but that is a dangerous argument.”
Lizardi emphasized that Texas Instruments’ high level of in-house manufacturing enabled the company to respond more quickly to increased demand. Last year, when competitors cut production, his company increased output and built inventory. Many chipmakers outsource a large portion of their manufacturing, and some have never owned their own plant. Texas Instruments has factories that meet roughly 80% of its own needs.
Texas Instruments shares rose 18 percent to $194.24 at the close, keeping pace with the overall gains in chip stocks this year. After the results were announced, the stock dropped about 5% in early trading before U.S. exchanges opened.
Net income increased to $1.93 billion, or $2.05 per share, in the second quarter, up from $1.38 billion, or $1.48 per share, the previous year. Revenue increased by 41% to $4.58 billion. Analysts predicted $4.36 billion on average.
Texas Instruments announced earlier this month that it will pay $900 million for a plant in Lehi, Utah, from Micron Technology Inc. The company is pioneering the use of relatively advanced plants for chips that previously did not necessitate the level of production required for Intel Corp.’s microprocessors or Micron’s computer memory. According to Texas Instruments, this gives the company a cost advantage and control over its own supply.