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California-based Broadcom takes $2 billion hit after Trump Huawei ban



Chipmaker Broadcom lowered its revenue outlook for the fiscal year 2019 to $22.5 billion, a decrease of $2 billion from its previous forecast of $24.5 billion, the company said in its second quarter earnings report on Thursday.

It marks one of the first instances in which the financial repercussions of President Trump’s decision to blacklist Chinese smartphone giant Huawei have been partly quantified.

“We currently see a broad-based slowdown in the demand environment, which we believe is driven by continued geopolitical uncertainties, as well as the effects of export restrictions on one of our largest customers,” Hock Tan, President and CEO of Broadcom, said in a press release. “As a result, our customers are actively reducing their inventory levels, and we are taking a conservative stance for the rest of the year.”

About 4.3% of the San Jose, California-based semiconductor firm’s total revenue for its previous fiscal year came from Huawei, Tan said on an analyst call, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“With respect to semiconductors it is clear that the U.S.-China trade conflict, including the Huawei export ban, is creating economic and political uncertainty and reducing visibility for global [manufacturing] customers,” Tan told analysts, according to the Journal.

Ever since Huawei was placed on the US Commerce Department’s entity list last month, there have been mounting concerns over how US companies that work with the Chinese electronics maker would be impacted.

US chip companies have seen a major hit to their stock in recent weeks, with a number of exchange-traded funds that monitor semiconductor firms underperforming over the last month, as CNBC reported in early June. One ETF with top individual stock holdings that include Qualcomm and Texas Instruments was down 34% in the last month, while another that has Intel as a top holding was down by almost 25%.

But Broadcom’s $2 billion hit is one of the first times in which the financial impact of the ban and ongoing uncertainties around the escalating trade war has been spelled out.

Broadcom shares were down over 6% in trading on Friday morning, and shares of chipmaker Qualcomm also dropped by more than 2%.

It’s unclear how and if Huawei’s blacklisting will impact other US chipmakers such as Intel and Qualcomm, considering both companies are expected to report earnings in July.

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