PC chipmakers move higher; TSMC reportedly seeing order pull-ins

|By:, SA News Editor

Digitimes reports top chip foundry TSMC (TSM +1.7%), which counts AMD (AMD +1.7%) and Nvidia (NVDA +1.2%) among its clients is seeing pull-in orders from PC and smartphone chipmakers for parts set to be delivered in the second half of January.

The PC orders are said to reflect "a rebound of replenishment demand in the PC sector and an improvement in sales in the end market." The report comes three weeks after Citi made note of improving/stabilizing PC demand, and cited it as a reason for upgrading Intel (INTC +0.7%).

Intel was hit hard last month after guiding for flat 2014 revenue/EPS growth. With IDC expecting PC unit shipments to drop 3.8% in 2014 after falling 10.1% in 2013, expectations are low.

PC sales to enterprises (aided by the Windows 7 upgrade cycle) and developed markets have been showing signs of stabilization, but sales to emerging markets continue to fall sharply. Given tablet cannibalization began affecting developed markets first, their stabilization (assuming it holds) could be a sign emerging markets will bottom somewhere in 2014.

Regarding smartphone orders, Digitimes reports demand related to high-end smartphones is picking up thanks to pending product launches, many of which will come at CES (Jan. 7-10) and the Mobile World Congress (Feb. 24-27).