Infineon Shares Surge on Goldman Note, Upbeat Nvidia Outlook

Infineon Technologies AG (IFNNY) shares soared to the top of the market in Frankfurt Friday after Goldman Sachs reiterated its "buy" rating on Europe's biggest chipmaker and investors eyed the bullish forecast issued by Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) after its fourth quarter earnings last night.

Goldman made minor adjustments to its longer-term earnings forecast for Infineon, but said there was "no material change to our investment thesis, ratings or price target" in a note to clients published late Thursday. However, a reiteration of the €28 price target, coupled with Nvidia's blowout earnings, helped boost Infineon shares in early European trading.

Infineon shares were marked 4.76% higher in the opening hour of trading on the DAX performance index to change hands at €22 each, a move that trims its year-to-date gain to just over 5%

The stock had been weighed down by a cut in revenue guidance for its 2017 to 2018 fiscal year, which it said was linked to broader weakness in the U.S. dollar.

"We are unable to compensate a further depreciation of the US$ by another 8 percentage points, which negatively affects more than half of our revenues," said CEO Reinhard Ploss on Jan. 31. "As such, we currency-adjusted our outlook accordingly."

However, last night's upbeat forecast for the chip sector from Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, whose graphic processor chips -- Volat GPUs -- have been taken on by "virtually every internet and cloud service provider", has lifted semiconductor sector sentiment.

Nvidia reported revenue of $2.91 billion for the three months ending in January, its fiscal fourth quarter, up 34% from the same period last year. Adjusted earnings of $1.72 easily beating consensus analyst estimates of $2.68 billion and $1.16. Nvidia also guided for $2.9 billion (plus or minus 5%), far above a $2.46 billion consensus and implying 49% growth at the midpoint.

Earlier this year, Infineon expanded its "safe automated driving" collaboration with Nvidia and now supplies various microcontroller, power and safety components to Nvidia Drive systems. 

Nvidia shares were marked 9.82% higher in pre-market trading in New York Friday, indicating an opening bell price of $238 each, a move that would take their year-to-date gain to 21.8%.