When Texas Instruments (NYS: TXN) updated its next-quarter guidance on Thursday night, the stock fell through the floor. And why not? Management tightened revenue guidance around the bottom end of the original range while the earnings outlook fell below the first guess altogether.
But then analyst reports poured in Friday morning, and the stock bounced back in no time at all. That's still a sorry performance on a day when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) gained 1.4%, exactly on pace with semiconductor component Intel.
Street analysts didn't see any reason to panic. The bulls are still bullish, though the rebound may happen later than they had expected. The bears got some fuel for their fires. And firms with a neutral view weren't swayed either way.
So what looked like drastically bad news at first turned out to be a non-event for shareholders.
Me, I'm siding with the TI bulls. This is a top-notch business with a firm tentacle stretching into the red-hot smartphone and tablet markets. Times are slow now, but it's bad for the entire sector and beyond. When -- not if -- the global economy regains its footing and consumers start buying electronics again, TI is sure to capitalize.
In fact, the current slowdown may even make that rebound even stronger. TI spokesman Ron Slaymaker explained that its customers are eviscerating stockpiles of chips at the moment. In Slaymaker's words, "We believe we're undershipping demand."
That can only last for so long, and Slaymaker notes that customers tend to do poorly at estimating when the snapback might begin. So Sony, Motorola Mobility (NYS: MMI) , and other major clients then panic-order large chip quantities on short notice, and TI happens to have shorter lead times than many of its competitors.
Texas Instruments runs its own factories with just a helping of third-party manufacturing. That's unlike Qualcomm (NAS: QCOM) and Broadcom (NAS: BRCM) , which have all their chips made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYS: TSM) and other foundries. TI is saddled with some fixed costs for running these internal production lines, but the payback comes when industry demand suddenly soars. TI can make its own processors rather than losing orders because of a longer supply chain.
Losing tablet and smartphone orders to inventory problems would be a terrible idea at this early stage. Mobile computing is a trillion-dollar industry in the making. See how TI fits into this mind-boggling opportunity by grabbing a free report on the mobile market. Just click here to get your copy -- it's totally free.
At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, and Intel. The Fool has also bought calls on Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and creating a bull call spread position in Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.
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