Shares of Microchip Technology (NasdaqGS: MCHP), the Arizona-based semiconductor maker, plunged more than 13% Friday on volume that has already surpassed five times the daily average after the company said it expects to report third-quarter revenue of $546.2 million, well below its previous guidance of $560 million to $575.9 million.
Microchip’s Friday weakness has permeated semiconductor exchange traded funds with four such ETFs ranking among today’s five worst-performing non-leveraged ETFs. Friday’s slide for semiconductor adds to recent weakness in what were previously some of this year’s top-performing technology ETFs. For example, the SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (NYSEArca: XSD), which earlier this year was the top-performing technology ETF, is off nearly 7% today after sliding 8.6% over the past 90 days. [The Top Tech ETF…So Far]
Some analysts are speculating Microchip’s revenue warning marks the arrival of the next semiconductor downcycle, one that is likely to affect all of the industry’s players. The market seems to agree because Microchip entered Friday with a market value of about $9 billion, meaning it is a mid-cap company and not a large holding in the major chip ETFs.
However, in a sign that the new semiconductor downcycle assessment could prove accurate, some of today’s worst-performing chip ETFs have only scant weights to Microchip. For example, XSD, an equal-weight ETF, allocates just 2.5% of its weight to the stock. The PowerShares Dynamic Semiconductors Portfolio (NYSEArca: PSI), another previous high-flyer, is down 6.5% despite allocating less than 2.8% of its weight o Microchip. [An Overlooked Chip ETF]
The Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF (NYSEArca: SMH) is down 5.7% on volume that is already close to quadruple the daily average despite sporting just a 2.3% weight to Microchip, which makes the stock SMH’s seventeenth-largest holding. SMH’s weakness could serve as an ominous harbinger of things to come for chip stocks because of the ETF’s 26 holdings, Intel (NasdaqGS: INTC) and Taiwan Semiconductor (NYSE: TSM), large-caps that should be less volatile than a stock like Microchip, control 36% of the ETF’s weight.