Technology

Texas Instruments Mirrors Signs of Stronger Automotive Activity

It might seem counterintuitive to think that semiconductor manufacturers would have the auto industry to thank for some new strength. That said, chips are in everything these days.

Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQL TXN) reported earnings after the close showing that it beat consensus top-line and bottom-line estimates. The semiconductor giant posted earnings of $1.45 per share (EPS) and its revenues came in at $3.82 billion. Refinitiv’s consensus estimates were $1.28 EPS and $3.45 billion in revenue.

While many companies are still posting down numbers, the revenue gain was up 1% from the same quarter a year ago.

Texas Instruments cited strength in its core businesses. Analog revenue grew 18% and its embedded processing revenue rose 19% sequentially. Versus a year ago, the company’s analog revenue grew 7% and the embedded processing revenue fell by 10%.

In another display of strength, the chip-maker’s fourth quarter outlook calls for revenue in the range of $3.41 billion to $3.69 billion and that is expected to generate $1.20 to $1.40 EPS. Refinitiv has consensus estimates at $3.33 billion and $1.19 EPS.

The driving force here is the current rebound in the automotive market. It appears there was a 75% sequential recovery and that took Texas Instruments back to similar levels that were seen a year ago. With most auto-related sales being on consignment, management indicated that they were expecting a rapid recovery once automotive assembly plants in North America and Europe started to resume activity.

The strength was partially offset due to lower calculator sales that had been seen in the back to school sales historically.

Texas Instruments is the third semiconductor that has talked up the automotive sector.

NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) announced preliminary results that were stronger than expected. Its revenue was roughly $2.27 billion rather than prior projections of about $1.9 to $2.1 billion in revenues, and despite a small positive income level it was also above its prior guidance.

NXP cited strength in automotive related sales and mobile-related sales. NXP also noted that the business environment had improved more rapidly than it had anticipated after so many manufacturing facilities had been shut down and then reopened.

STMicroelectronics N.V. (NYSE: STM) also reported preliminary results on October 1, indicating that its net revenues rose almost 28% sequentially and saw a 690 basis points surge above the high-end of the range. That revenue of $2.67 billion was up from a prior forecast of $2.45 billion.

STMicroelectronics cited significantly better than expected market conditions over the quarter, noting sharp acceleration in demand of automotive products, microcontrollers and personal electronics.