Texas Instruments' upbeat Q2 forecast pushes chip stocks higher

FILE PHOTO: A Texas Instruments Office is shown in San Diego, California, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) -Texas Instruments jumped around 6.5% on Wednesday, sparking a rally in chip stocks as its strong second-quarter revenue forecast fanned optimism that chip demand was picking up after a years-long slump.

The company is seen as a bellwether for semiconductor demand, as its products are used across industries ranging from automotive to industrial and consumer electronics including smartphones and personal computers.

Shares of Microchip Technology , Advanced Micro Devices, Arm Holdings and NXP Semiconductors rose between 2% and 5%.

Texas Instruments said on Tuesday it expects revenue with a midpoint of $3.8 billion for the second quarter, compared with LSEG estimates of $3.77 billion.

Its earnings are closely watched as it is the first among major U.S. semiconductor firms to report quarterly results.

"Looking ahead, we anticipate Texas Instruments to drive a continued recovery profile into the 2H (second half) of the year and into 2025" said J.P. Morgan analysts in a note.

If gains hold, the stock will be set to add around $10 billion to its market valuation. It is valued at $150 billion based on its Tuesday closing price.

Improving demand for consumer electronics also indicates that clients' analog chip inventory corrections might be ending.

Texas Instruments' forecast marks a recovery inflection on industrial chip demand, analysts at Bank of America said, but flagged that automotive end markets are going through final stages of clearing inventory.

The company had seen a slump in demand for chips used in automotive markets, stemming from clients stocking up on inventory to avoid a supply crunch.

(Reporting by Zaheer Kachwala in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K and Vijay Kishore)

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