Semi equipment maker Lam Research (LRCX) - Get Report was rising more than 5% on Friday following positive comments about chip demand later in the year from top chipmaker Broadcom (AVGO) - Get Report , as well as a price target hike from Citi.
After the close on Thursday, Broadcom beat earnings expectations for its first fiscal quarter and reiterated its guidance for fiscal 2019. Perhaps more importantly, CEO Hock Tan said on the earnings call that he expected its semiconductor business would bottom in its second fiscal quarter due almost entirely to the seasonal drop in wireless sales.
"But looking to the second half, we are confident that semiconductor business will resume very meaningful growth," Tan said. "This will be driven by strong product cycles in both wireless and networking, coupled with a recovery in broadband."
Broadcom's stock was up almost 11% on Friday on the results, pulling other semi stocks up along with it. In addition to Lam, Applied Materials (AMAT) - Get Report was up 4.4%, MKS (MKSI) - Get Report was up 7.5% and ASML (ASML) - Get Report was rising 4.9% and AMD (AMD) - Get Report was up 3.1%. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index was up 3.3% on Friday.
"Broadcom CEO Hock Tan's bottom call on the semiconductor business and his optimistic growth outlook for the second half of the year has lit a flame under the semi stocks on Friday," said Jeff Marks, portfolio analyst for Jim Cramer's Action Alerts Plus portfolio, which owns Lam. "This commentary fits our thesis in Lam Research, which is our preferred semiconductor stock. We are anticipating an earnings inflection at Lam Research in the back half of the year, driven by strengthening equipment demand and improving memory prices after a period of declines."
Separately, Citi raised its price target on Lam to $215 following channel checks it conducted that indicated NAND memory equipment orders had picked up for the company. Citi analyst Atif Malik wrote that he believes the improvement reflects higher equipment spending by top-tier NAND makers such as Samsung (SSNLF) and Toshiba. Malik also said he believes fundamentals for NAND have "hit a trough."
Lam shares are up 37% so far this year.
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