What happened

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM 1.85%), the ever-influential Asian chipmaker, started the week off positively, at least as far as its stock was concerned. On the back of a researcher's price target hike, the company's share price also went mildly north to close the day 0.6% higher. By contrast, the S&P 500 index eased down by about 0.2%.

So what

The lifter in question was Susquehanna International Group analyst Mehdi Hosseini, who before the market opened raised his price target on Taiwan Semiconductor to $76 per share from his previous $72. As this new level remains somewhat below the current share price, Hosseini maintained his neutral rating on the stock.

The reasoning behind his target price bump wasn't immediately apparent, but it is in line with the way general investor sentiment has developed of late. Several analysts have boosted their Taiwan Semiconductor price targets, among them the forecasters from such noteworthy institutions as Bank of America and Morgan Stanley.

One thing that influenced these improving sentiments was the chipmaker's fourth-quarter and full-year 2022 report, which it published in mid-January. Although the results weren't necessarily spectacular, Taiwan Semiconductor did beat the analysts' consensus earnings estimate.

Now what

What's likely a stronger factor, however, is the sharp rise in interest in artificial intelligence applications. This is thanks to the surging prominence of ChatGPT, which produces texts and other outputs from user prompts.

Some analysts believe Taiwan Semiconductor could be quite the beneficiary of this trend. Artificial intelligence was specifically mentioned as a potential business driver in the most recent Bank of America note on the company authored by prognosticator Brad Lin.