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Morgan Stanley Reveals Top Stock Picks and 'Least Favored' in Chip Market Corner

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Morgan Stanley's Analysis of the Semiconductor Market's Recovery

According to Morgan Stanley, the memory sector of the semiconductor market, which includes DRAM and NAND, has been experiencing a "recovery narrative" this year. Analysts at the bank note that the first phase of this recovery is characterized by multiple expansion and front-running positive developments. They highlight the positive impact of AI and high bandwidth memory (HBM) on the sector, as advanced processors required for AI applications rely on HBM. Analysts have expressed optimism about the growth potential of this segment.

'Preferred Plays' and 'Least Favored' Stocks

Morgan Stanley identifies South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix, U.S. firm Western Digital Corporation, and Taiwanese companies Winbond and Phison as its "preferred plays" in the memory sector. These companies are expected to benefit from NAND recovery and have a strong competitive position in high bandwidth memory. Western Digital, in particular, is viewed favorably due to the potential for NAND improvement in the U.S. However, the bank advises caution regarding peak earnings potential in the next 2-3 years, considering the oversupply in the market.

Beneficiaries of High Bandwidth Memory Demand

Morgan Stanley believes that SK Hynix and Samsung will be key beneficiaries of the increased demand for high bandwidth memory driven by the AI trend. The bank highlights SK Hynix's solid position in AI and its significant growth potential in the Asian tech market. It expects SK Hynix to maintain its leading position in the AI cycle growth curve. On the other hand, the bank designates Micron, Macronix, and GigaDevice as its "least favored" stocks.

Improving Market Conditions

Morgan Stanley's optimism about the memory sector is supported by improving pricing and inventory conditions. The bank notes that NAND has benefited from Samsung's supply cuts, resulting in double-digit price increases for September delivery. While pricing power may be temporary due to market oversupply, a change in pricing could influence customer inventory behavior during the bottoming of the cycle. Additionally, inventory for DRAM chips is decreasing significantly from the third quarter of this year.

Shortage Building and Future Outlook

Looking ahead, Morgan Stanley anticipates a shortage in the memory sector building up in the fourth quarter, with an upturn expected in 2024 before reaching its peak in 2025. The bank emphasizes that the industry continues to produce below actual demand, providing confidence that the recovery will sustain well into 2025. In conclusion, Morgan Stanley's analysis highlights the recovery narrative in the memory sector of the semiconductor market. The bank identifies preferred plays and least favored stocks, while also noting improving market conditions and anticipating a shortage in the future. These insights provide valuable information for investors and businesses operating in the semiconductor industry.

Conclusion: Implications for New Businesses

Morgan Stanley's analysis of the semiconductor market's recovery offers valuable insights for new businesses, particularly those in the tech and semiconductor sectors. The bank's positive outlook on the memory sector, driven by the growth of AI and high bandwidth memory (HBM), suggests significant opportunities for businesses that can leverage these trends.

Opportunities and Challenges

The identification of "preferred plays" like SK Hynix and Western Digital indicates where the growth potential lies. However, the cautionary note on "least favored" stocks such as Micron, Macronix, and GigaDevice suggests challenges in the market. New businesses should consider these insights when formulating their strategies.

Market Dynamics

The improving market conditions, characterized by rising prices and decreasing inventory, could create a favorable environment for new entrants. However, the potential oversupply in the market could pose risks.

Future Outlook

Morgan Stanley's anticipation of a shortage in the memory sector provides a glimpse into the future market dynamics. This could offer new businesses the opportunity to position themselves to benefit from these market shifts. In conclusion, Morgan Stanley's analysis of the semiconductor market's recovery offers a roadmap for new businesses in the tech and semiconductor sectors. By understanding these market trends and dynamics, new businesses can identify opportunities, navigate challenges, and position themselves for success in this evolving market.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/13/morgan-stanley-names-the-winners-and-losers-in-chip-market.html
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