Apple Inc. (APPL) supplier AMS AG (AMSSY) shares surged Tuesday, lifting the broader European tech sector, as the maker of facial recognition sensors for the iPhone X forecast solid second half revenues following a disappointing quarter.
The Swiss listed group reported an operating loss of of $48.6 million for the three months ending in June, the company's second quarter, even as revenues bumped mostly higher to $252.8 million. However, the group's second-half forecast, which sees "strong sequential revenue and profitability growth in the third quarter as high volume ramp-ups in consumer optical sensing have started" helped boost shares and paint a bullish picture for iPhone X orders heading into Apple's own earnings on July 31.
"This expected development reflects the ramp-up nature of the third quarter as production and shipment volumes in AMS' consumer business continue to expand," the company said. "Driven by these large scale consumer ramps, AMS currently expects a record level of revenues for the second half of 2018."
"The adjusted operating margin for the third quarter (excluding acquisition-based and share-based compensation costs) is expected to show a significant sequential increase to a low teens percentage, predominantly resulting from the ongoing improvement in capacity utilization," AMS added.
AMS shares were marked 8.73% higher by mid-morning in Zurich and changing hands at Sfr6.10 each, a move that trims its year-to-date decline to around 13.8% and values the group at around Sfr5.9 billion ($6 billion).
The Stoxx 600 Europe technology subindex was marked 1.45% higher at 487.86, while Apple suppliers STMicroelectronics (STM - Get Report) (4.77%) and Dialog Semiconductor Plc (DLGNF) (1.74%) were trading notable higher in Amsterdam and Frankfurt respectively.
"For the third quarter, AMS sees strong sequential revenue and profitability growth driven by high volume ramp-ups in consumer optical sensing with expected revenues of ($450 million to $490 million), up 46-59% year-on-year," the company said.
The AMS numbers offer a contrast to those of Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Ltd., (TSM - Get Report) the world's biggest contract chipmaker and a leader supplier for Apple, which trimmed its full year revenue forecasts last week citing a slowdown in cryptocurrency mining and waning smartphone demand.
However ASML Holding NV (AMAT - Get Report) , a Dutch chipmaker who's components find their way into tech products all over the world and is widely considered a key benchmark for sector demand, posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings and boosted it full year outlook.
Earlier this month, Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) forecast its slowest profit growth in a least a year as global smartphone demand slows and competition from low-cost rivals intensifies, suggesting the Apple rival may miss full year sales targets.
Strategy Analytics, a closely-watched industry benchmark, sees global handset sales only rising by 1.4% by the end of the year to 1.49 billion units, although 5-G network rollouts in 2019 and beyond should reignite appetite in the near-term.
Apple will publish its fiscal third quarter earnings on July 31, with investors looking for the Cupertino, Calif.-based group to meet or beat its $51.5 billion to $53.5 billion revenue guidance with a gross margin of between 38% and 38.5%. Apple shifted 52.2 million handsets in it previous quarter, a figure which translated into $61.1 billion in revenue and a $728.30 average selling price.
Apple shares were marked 0.4% higher in pre-market trading, indicating an opening bell price of $192.36 each, a move that would extend its year-to-date gain to 13.6% and value the Cuptertino, Calif.-based tech giant at just over $943 billion.