B. Riley analyst Craig Ellis downgraded 10 chip stocks to neutral from buy on Thursday, writing that he "underestimated potential for a risk" from outbreak of COVID-19, the disease brought on by the novel coronavirus. Among the names he downgraded are: Axcelis Technologies Inc. (ACLS), Airgain Inc. (AIRG), Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT), Alpha & Omega Semiconductor Inc. [a: aosl], Cohu Inc. (COHU), Ichor Holdings Ltd. (ICHR), Intevac Inc. (IVAC), Lam Research Corp. (LRCX), Microchip Technology Inc. (MCHP), and ON Semiconductor Corp. (ON). Ellis said the ratings changes signal a move to "more defensive positioning" compared with a prior goal of "maximizing [year-to-date] upcycle exposure." He wrote that "[w]hile great fear has been priced in with a one-month -37% SOX decline, we can't rule out a move toward, or to, the Great Recession's -57% drop, a more severe outcome than our prior view."
-Emily Bary; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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