Sector Snap: Analyst sees more demand for chips

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? A Jefferies analyst said Thursday that networking equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc.’s quarterly results could be good news for chip makers.

Cisco and other manufacturers ? companies that buy chips ? have been predicting “seasonal” demand trends, said analyst Mark Lipacis in a client note. Meanwhile, chip makers have been forecasting business that’s weaker than it typically has been at the end of the year. That suggests demand for chips is likely to increase in 2012, he said.

Cisco reported results late Wednesday.

Lipacis said that semiconductor companies have grown more slowly than their customers for four quarters, and he suspects that chip makers’ inventories are being depleted. So chip makers could get a boost from restocking in the first half, he said.

He recommends purchasing the stock of chip makers Marvell Technology Group Ltd., Broadcom Corp. and Avago Technologies Ltd., because they supply smartphones, a growing market.

Shares of Marvell rose 39 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $14.50 in late afternoon trading, while shares of Broadcom rose 8 cents to $34.13. Avago Technologies shares fell 13 cents to $33.10.

He also recommended Altera Corp., Inphi Corp. and PMC-Sierra Inc. since they serve the communications infrastructure markets.

Shares of Altera Corp. rose 22 cents to $36.51, and shares of PMC-Sierra Inc. rose 3 cents to $6.09. Shares of Inphi Corp. dipped 5 cents to $10.85.