Semiconductor stocks have been on a stellar ride driven by improving overseas demand and innovative technologies. New areas such as autonomous cars, cloud computing, gaming, wearables, VR headsets, drones, virtual reality devices, Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence are fueling growth in the sector, offsetting struggling traditional businesses like PCs and smartphones.
In particular, iShares PHLX Semiconductor ETF (NASDAQ:SOXX), VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NYSEARCA:SMH), and PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductors Fund (NYSEARCA:PSI) has climbed 23.9%, 22.8% and 28.4%, respectively, year to date beating the broad technology fund (XLK) by a wide margin. XLK has gained 19.9% in the same time frame (read: Tech ETFs on Fire as Q2 Earnings Season Heats Up).
This trend is likely to continue heading into Q2 earnings given that most of the chipmakers are poised to surprise again this quarter. Let’s delve into the earnings picture of major chipmakers like Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ:TXN), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) and Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX) that have a higher allocation to these ETFs and have the power to move the funds up or down as Q2 earnings unfold. SOXX has the largest concentration in the five firms with a combined share of 32.5%, followed by 31.2% for SMH and 20.9% for PSI.
Let’s dig deeper into the earnings picture of these companies that would drive the performance of the above-mentioned funds in the coming days:
According to the our methodology, a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) when combined with a positive Earnings ESP increases our chances of predicting an earnings beat, while a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell rated) are best avoided. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
What’s in Store?
The world’s largest chipmaker, Intel, is slated to release earnings after market close on July 27. It has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) and an Earnings ESP of -1.47%. However, the stock has seen a positive earnings estimate revision of 4 cents over the past 90 days for the to-be-reported quarter and delivered a positive earnings surprise of 6.95% on average over the last four quarters. Intel is a triple play stock with a Value, Growth and Momentum Style Score of A each.
Texas Instruments has a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%, making surprise prediction difficult. It delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 7.68% in the last four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for second-quarter 2017 moved up by 4 cents over the past three months. Further, the stock has a solid Growth and Momentum Style Score of B each but a dull Value Style Scores of D. The company is expected to report after the closing bell on July 25.
NVIDIA is expected to release its earnings report on August 10. It has a Zacks Rank #1 and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%, making surprise prediction difficult. The company delivered positive earnings surprises in the last four quarters, with an average beat of 27.01% and saw positive earnings estimate revision of 7 cents over the past three months for the to-be-reported quarter. Further, the stock has a solid Growth and Momentum Style Score of B each, but an unfavorable Value Style score of F (read: Why Did Nvidia Corporation Stock Jump Today?).
Applied Materials has a Zacks Rank #2 and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%, making surprise prediction difficult. Its earnings surprise track record over the past four quarters is good, with an average beat of 3.35%. Additionally, the stock witnessed a solid earnings estimate revision of 17 cents over the past 90 days for the yet-to-be-reported quarter. The stock has a Growth Style Score of D, and Value and Momentum Style Score of C each. The company will report on August 17.
Lam Research is slated to release earnings after market close on July 26. It has a Zacks Rank #1 and an Earnings ESP of +1.33%, indicating higher chances of beating estimates this time. The stock delivered a positive earnings surprise of 6.14% on average over the last four quarters and saw no earnings estimate revision activity. It has a Value and Growth Style Score of C each while Momentum Style Score of D.
Given the fact that most of the companies in the space have a track of beating on earnings and saw positive estimate revision, semiconductor ETFs will likely get a boost in the coming days. Further, SOXX, SMH and PSI have a Zacks ETF Rank #1, suggesting their potential to outperform (see: all the Technology ETFs here).