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Semiconductor sales rebounded in January



But SIA is not optimistic

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has some good news for chipmakers. According to the association's monthly report, semiconductor sales in January were up 8.6 percent year-on-year.

However, they were down 9.6 percent compared to December, but this is a seasonal trend - January is usually 12 percent weaker than December. SIA found that seven out of eleven product categories covered by its beancounters bucked the seasonal trend and grew a bit more than expected.

Although this is relatively good news, it might not be good news for everyone, namely x86 players. SIA is bearish on Intel and AMD. It believes Intel will remain under pressure over the next four to six quarters, as it sacrifices margins to promote new chips for ultrabooks and other low-power devices. AMD isn't doing much better, either. Although the company stands to make a few bucks on its massive console deals, it is still forced to operate with relatively low margins in its core business.

SIA is optimistic when it comes to mobile players like Qualcomm and Broadcom. It believes Qualcomm will continue to reap the benefits of its highly profitable licensing stream and it will gain share in its chipset business.

As for Broadcom, the bullish side of things has more to do with investors than tech. SIA believes the shares have taken a beating and they are underpriced, so it believes Broadcome deserves an Outperform rating for the time being.

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