If you’re into tech stocks — or if you tried to buy a car or computer anytime recently — you’ve heard about the semiconductor chip shortage that helped push prices higher. But as an investor, you need to start thinking about what’s next — the coming chip glut — and how that will affect chip stocks.
Yes, there’s a chip glut coming. Semiconductors are considered a pretty cyclical industry and plants are churning out as many chips as they can right now to meet the pent-up demand.
But those heady times for chip companies are coming to an end. Gokul Hariharan, co-head of Asia-Pacific TMT Research at JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), told the South China Morning Post that it’s too early to say exactly when the glut will happen — but it’s on the way.
“Our view is that when we come to 2023, there will be sufficient supply to come back into some degree of balance, or maybe even overcapacity,” he said. Hariharan said revenue decline of 2% for the industry is possible.
Are you thinking that 2023 is a long way away? Not really. And not when you consider that many semiconductor stocks have already given back huge chunks of the gains they earned over the last two years.
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If you wait until 2023 to drop your semiconductor stocks, you may be waiting too long. Here are three top semiconductor stocks that are already on the decline.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company
Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) is one of the most well-known semiconductor companies in the world. It’s hailed for introducing the first graphics processing unit (GPU) back in 1999, and since then, it has just made them more powerful and better. Its GeForce RTX-30-Series products are considered “best-in-class” for gaming purposes.
But the company also failed to close its deal with Softbank Group to acquire Arm Limited, and is widely expected to report a $1.36 billion write-off from that effort.
And it has also been fined $5.5 million by the Securities & Exchange Commission for not disclosing the impact of crypto mining on its business. That’s not a big penalty, but it pushed NVDA stock down 9% in a single day.
Looking at the two-year chart, and you’d be pretty excited to see that NVDA is sitting on a 77% gain. But when you consider that NVDA was up by more than 250% as recently as November, you’ll see how quickly Nvidia stock is falling right now.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSM)
You may think that Nvidia is the biggest name in the semiconductor space. But it’s really Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE:TSM), which has a market capitalization of more than $460 billion.
TSM flies under the radar a bit because it’s not involved in the business of designing new, more powerful chips. Instead, it’s a contract manufacturer that builds the things. And that’s one of the businesses that should be hurt the most when the semiconductor glut happens.
TSM stock is still up roughly 82% from where it sat two years ago. But at one point, Taiwan Semiconductor was up 177%. So, if you held TSM stock, you’ve given a lot of those gains up already.
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Erste Group analyst Hans Engel downgraded TSM stock from “buy” to “hold” despite what he calls an excellent market condition. But in a research note, he cautioned that sales and earnings estimates for 2022 are falling because of a global slowdown in economic growth.
Micron Technology (MU)
Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) is a semiconductor company that operates in 20 countries. It gets the largest share of its revenue from its computer and networking business unit. But it also manufactures chips that are used in consumer electronics, autos and computer products.
Earnings for the company’s second fiscal quarter were solid, with revenue of $7.79 billion that beat analysts’ estimates for growth by more than 25%. MU also posted earnings-per-share of $2.14.
“Micron’s excellent second quarter results exceeded the high end of our guidance for both revenue and margin, reflecting our strong execution,” President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said. “We’re leading the industry in technology across DRAM and NAND, and our product portfolio momentum is accelerating. With outstanding first half results, Micron is on track to deliver record revenue and robust profitability in fiscal 2022.”
While the stock rose by 4% on the earnings report, Micron quickly gave those profits back on fears of the upcoming semiconductor glut.
MU stock is up nearly 48% higher today from where it was two years ago. But as recently as January, MU stock had gains of more than 120%. Those days seem far away now.
On the date of publication, Patrick Sanders did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
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