The semiconductor sector will be a big gainer in 2022 as demand grows and supply-chain constraints ease, said analysts at Mizuho Securities.
Chip stocks Micron Technology (ticker: MU), Western Digital ( WDC ), and Applied Materials ( AMAT ) were some of analyst Vijay Rakesh’s top picks for the year, with Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD ) receiving an honorable mention and a price target increase.
Rakesh sees several upsides for the industry, including improved Covid-19 trends, supply-chain normalization, and high cash levels.
Advanced Micro Devices is slated to benefit from these trends, Rakesh said. Throughout 2021, the company executed well above expectations as demand for console chips and PCs continued to rise. The stock has several catalysts coming up the following year with the rollout of its next-generation server products.
Rakesh reiterated his Buy rating on the stock, and increased his price target to $150 from $135. Shares of Advanced Micro Devices were down nearly 3% to $133.80 on Thursday.
The analyst sees similar upsides for top picks Micron, Western Digital and Applied Materials. Micron could see many tailwinds boosting its performance over the next year, prompting the analyst to raise his target to $110 from $98 and maintain a Buy rating.
“While pricing could decline, declines are likely to be modest, and multiple tailwinds with strong demand in segments such as data center, 5G, and auto should be positives,” Rakesh wrote.
Western Digital will see better-than-anticipated pricing for its NAND chips. The company also is well-positioned to ramp up its cloud offerings, and margins could improve significantly over the next year. Rakesh increased his target to $83 from $75.
Applied Materials will benefit from multi-year demand for semiconductors in data centers, 5G implementation, the internet of things, and automotive, Rakesh said, as well as plans to spend on wafer fabrication equipment.The analyst revised his target to $178, up from $161.
Micron stock was up 1.6% to $96.67. Applied Materials was gaining 0.3% to $160, and Western Digital ticked up 0.5% to $67.22.
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