Loop says TSMC is a buy, with free cash flow set to jump and next-generation computing nearing

Taiwan Semiconductor is entering a new era for the industry from a position of strength, and that could make the stock a winner for investors, according to Loop Capital Markets. Analyst Charles Park initiated coverage of TSMC with a buy rating, saying that the chipmaker would soon reap the rewards of recent internal investments. “Although a semiconductor inventory-driven cyclical peak could lead to a mid-cycle correction in the near term, we believe TSMC’s core business will remain strong through the cycle. TSMC’s strong investment in capex should lead to higher revenue and earnings growth, similar to what the company experienced a decade ago when TSMC’s capex intensity rose to 50% in 2010-2013, which subsequently lead to higher earnings,” Park wrote. Loop projects earnings and revenue for TSMC to grow at double-digit rates through 2024 and for free cash flow to more than triple over that period. Those strong fundamental numbers and production capacity should make the company a winner as next-generation computing gains steam, Loop said. “We believe the semiconductor industry is entering a new phase of growth, driven by a collection of technologies (including 5G, AI/ML/Cloud, IoT, EV/ADAS, etc.) that will lead to ‘ubiquitous’ computing. We believe we are in an early stage of this growth for the semiconductor industry, with TSMC ideally positioned to benefit,” Park wrote. TSMC’s stock has fallen sharply this year, with its U.S.-traded shares falling more than 27%. Loop set a price target of 600 Taiwan dollars per share for TSMC , which is about 20% upside for the stock. –CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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