Hong Kong: Shares of Asian chip and PC makers jumped on Wednesday on strong results from global technology bellwether Intel Corp, pointing to potential upside for the sectors in quarterly reports due in coming weeks.
Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s top maker of DRAM memory chips, rose 3.5% to a three-week high, while leading contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) closed up 1.3%. Acer Inc, the world’s No.2 PC brand, closed 6% higher at a two-month high.
“Intel has given investors that boost of confidence they need,” said Angela Hsiang, an analyst at KGI Securities in Taipei. “While there are still broad fears about the wider economy, investors were looking for an excuse to buy and Intel provided that.”
On Tuesday, after theUS market closed, Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker and a dominant supplier of PC chips, posted margin and revenue forecasts that blew past Wall Street expectations, helping lift its shares 7.1% in extended trade.
Dutch chip equipment maker ASML added to the optimism on Wednesday when it raised its full year sales outlook as it sees robust demand for its machines that produce chips for PCs and smartphones.
Intel’s outlook helped raise expectations that technology spending could remain strong even as broader fears about the Euro zone, a joblessUS recovery and a cooling of Chinese growth weigh on the sector.
“People are beginning to think the second half may not be as bad as they’d feared and this is boosting Toshiba Corp and the technology sector as a whole,” said Takeo Miyamoto, an analyst at Deutsche Bank in Tokyo.
Asia’s top technology companies such as TSMC and Samsung Electronics are likely to see revenue grow by about 35% in the second quarter from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters data, coming off a weak 2009 that was hard hit by the global financial crisis.
Trading volume was strong on most counters. Some 31.9 million Acer shares changed hands in Taipei trade, its highest level in about six weeks. some 663,692 Samsung Electronic shares were traded in Seoul, the highest since early May.
Other technology plays also posted strong gains.
Within the DRAM sector, Japan’s Elpida Memory Inc rose 3.6%, while South Korea’s Hynix Semiconductor Inc rose 3.4%. Contract chipmakers United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) rose 3.1%.
Other PC issues, including Lenovo Group and Asustek Computer Inc also rallied to firmer closes.
“The key now is to look at Microsoft Corp and International Business Machines Corp’s (IBM) earnings in the next two weeks,” Hsiang said. “If those come out strong, we’re probably in line for a strong rally.”
The second half of the calendar year is usually the stronger season for most technology brands as students prepare to return to school after the summer holidays and ahead of the peak year-end shopping season.
Despite the buoyant mood, some analysts warned that the party could be short-lived if oversupply and a faltering economy lead to a weaker pricing environment that could weigh heavily on the company margins and revenue.
“I remain more cautious about the third-quarter outlook as chip prices are seen weakening in the second half,” said Han Seung-hoon, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities.