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Why Himax Technologies Stock Sank 35.7% in March

By Keith Noonan – Apr 8, 2020 at 11:39AM

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The semiconductor stock is still up roughly 11% year to date despite steep sell-offs last month.

What happened

Shares of Himax Technologies (HIMX 0.50%) plunged 35.7% in March, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The imaging-focused semiconductor stock had climbed roughly 60% across January and February's trading, but uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic prompted a steep decline for its share price last month. 

^SPX Chart

^SPX data by YCharts.

Himax had seen strong momentum as investors banked on the company supplying display-driver chips for use in augmented-reality (AR) glasses and headsets, but bearish sentiment on the stock set in last month as the economic outlook became less clear. 

Augmented reality glasses.

The view through AR glasses. Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Himax has been faced with declining demand and pricing power for its display-driver solutions for mobile phones and televisions. But the promise of new business avenues in potentially high-growth product categories including AR hardware and heads-up displays (HUDs) for automobiles has bolstered the bull case and given hope to shareholders. The company still has paths to growth in AR and automobile HUDs, but the likelihood of lasting economic impacts stemming from the coronavirus pandemic suggests that shareholders will have to wait longer for these positive business catalysts to pan out. 

Now what

Himax stock has regained some ground this month amid momentum for the broader market. The company's share price is up roughly 10% in April's trading so far. 

^SPX Chart

^SPX data by YCharts.

Himax published a press release on April 3 outlining preliminary results for its March quarter. The company reported estimated first-quarter sales of $184.6 million, up 5.5% sequentially and 13% year over year. Gross margin for the period came in at approximately 22.7%.

The company's adjusted earnings per diluted American depositary share are projected to be approximately $0.022, beating the company's guidance in a range of a loss of $0.005 to a profit of $0.018 per share. It will report official first-quarter results in May.  

Himax is valued at roughly 16.5 times this year's expected earnings and 0.6 times expected sales.

Keith Noonan owns shares of Himax Technologies. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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