4 months ago • 2 mins
What’s going on here?
ASML reported underwhelming results on Wednesday, but the Dutch chipmaker knows just how to keep investors on side.
What does this mean?
You’d assume that chipmaker ASML is bathing in jacuzzis and drinking champagne for breakfast thanks to the hyped-up artificial intelligence trend. But despite supplying machines that underpin the tech, the chip industry as a whole is working through a slump. ASML’s future orders dropped by 40% last quarter from the one before, landing around €2.6 billion ($2.8 billion). And while the firm’s third-quarter revenue was higher than the same time last year, future projections – partly based on those pre-orders – matter far more. Bad luck, then: ASML forecast that next year’s revenue will be the same as this year’s, which is likely to let investors down.
Why should I care?
Zooming out: It’s not over yet.
That said, investors have plenty of reasons to stay hopeful. With most major economies battling inflation, hard-up consumers are saving their cash instead of splashing out on expensive gadgets. So in theory, economic recoveries over the next year or two should encourage pent-up shoppers to swipe their cards – and if new phones and laptops start flying off the shelves, chipmakers will make bank by selling their ordinary chips. That, at a time when demand for high-tech artificial intelligence chips could climb to the next level, too. None of that’s a guarantee, of course, but it’s probably enough to keep ASML investors hanging around for now.
For markets: Let’s visit the psychic’s lair.
Tech investors will get a glimpse of the future soon. US Big Tech companies are due to report their earnings next week, and artificial intelligence is sure to feature heavily on their agendas. Microsoft, for one, reports late next Wednesday, when it’ll spill the beans on its Copilot software. Excitement around artificial intelligence has recently settled into a steadier pace, but any promising updates could reignite the rush that started earlier this year.
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