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Chip stocks rebound led by Micron after US grants temporary relief for Huawei suppliers

Yun Li
  • The U.S. Commerce Department said Monday it granted a 90-day license for mobile phone companies and internet broadband providers to work with Huawei.
  • The move made Google reverse its decision to cut ties with the Chinese telecom giant.
  • Semiconductor stocks posted big losses on Monday after the U.S. blacklisted Huawei and effectively halted its ability to buy American-made parts and components.
  • However, the relief rally may not last as Wall Street analysts expect chipmakers to have "immediate impact" if the ban is here to stay.

Shares of chipmakers rebounded from a sell-off on Tuesday after the U.S. temporarily eased some trade restrictions on China's Huawei.

The U.S. Commerce Department said late Monday it granted a 90-day license for mobile phone companies and internet broadband providers to work with Huawei to keep existing networks online and protect users from security risks. The move made Google reverse its decision to cut ties with the Chinese telecom giant.

Semiconductor stocks posted big losses on Monday after the U.S. blacklisted Huawei and effectively halted its ability to buy American-made parts and components. Chipmaker giants including Qualcomm QCOM , Broadcom AVGO and Intel INTC reportedly told employees they will not sell to the Chinese firm until further notice, which sparked a brutal sell-off in the sector as Huawei is a big customer of U.S. chips, buying $20 billion of semiconductors a year.

Micron MU jumped more than 2% in premarket trading, cutting in half its Monday loss. Shares of Qualcomm rose 2.5% in premarket on Tuesday after losing 6% in the previous session, while shares of Broadcom XLNX gained nearly 2% after dropping almost 6% on Monday.

Micron has had 13% of its sales from Huawei the past two quarters while Broadcom's exposure is in the mid-single digits, Morgan Stanley estimated.

However, the relief rally may not last as Wall Street analysts expect chipmakers to have "immediate impact" if the ban is here to stay.

"We would expect that many, if not most, semiconductor companies will need to lower estimates," said Chris Caso, analyst at Raymond James, said in a note on Tuesday. "Clearly, with a ban on shipping to Huawei in place, the immediate impact will be felt by those companies with significant exposure."

Those companies include Xilinx, Analog Devices ADI , Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia NVDA , Qorvo QRVO and Skyworks Solutions, SWKS the anlayst said.

Chipmaker Lumentum LITE on Monday cut its fourth-quarter guidance after halting shipments to Huawei in the wake of the ban.

Piper Jaffray lowered the price target for Lumentum Holdings to $68 from $75 saying the Huawei sanction is a "significant near-term issue" for the company as the Chinese giant has represented 15% of total sales over the past nine months and 18% of sales in the March quarter.

"We expect most of the group with high Huawei exposure to negatively preannounce as well, and likely reduce 2H expectations, as if the ban remains in place there is no way of escaping this," Caso said.

— CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this report.



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