Trade tensions weigh on Texas Instruments revenue forecast

A person walks inside the research building of US tech firm Texas Instruments on December 18, 2012.Jean Christophe Magnenet | AFP | Getty Images Texas Instruments Inc forecast current-quarter revenue well below estimates on Tuesday, the latest sign that the global microchip industry is being squeezed by a downturn in demand as well as a prolonged U.S.-China trade dispute.Shares of the company, one of the first chipmakers to report earnings for the quarter, fell nearly 10% in extended trading as its third-quarter revenue also fell short of estimates. Texas, whose broad lineup of products makes it a proxy for the global chip industry, said revenue declined as most markets weakened further.”When there are tensions in trade and obstacles to trade, what do businesses do? They become more cautious. And they pull back. And we are at the very end of a long supply chain. And when the ones at the very front pull back, it becomes a traffic jam,” Chief Financial Officer Rafael Lizardi said.The company had previously warned that a slowdown in demand for microchips that started late last year may last a few more quarters, as China’s economy slows and manufacturers face the fallout of an ongoing trade dispute with the United States.Texas said it expected revenue for the fourth quarter in the range of $3.07 billion and $3.33 billion, below analysts’ average expectation of $3.59 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Stifel analyst Tore Svanberg said the forecast should not come as a surprise given the downward trend in Purchasing Managers’ Index numbers globally in the last few months. The tepid forecast also weighed on shares of other chipmakers. Shares of Intel Corp, Nvidia Corp, Micron Technology, Qualcomm Inc, and Advanced Micro Devices fell nearly 2% in extended trading. The results from Texas spell risk for the entire semiconductor supply chain, and in particular for companies with high exposure in auto and industrial markets, Summit Insights Group analyst Kinngai Chan said. For the third quarter, revenue fell 11.5% to $3.77 billion, missing the average estimate of $3.82 billion. Net income fell to $1.43 billion, or $1.49 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $1.57 billion, or $1.58 per share, a year earlier.Analysts, on average, were expecting the company to report profit of $1.42 per share.

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