January 29, 2018 / 9:52 AM / 2 years ago

Apple sensor supplier AMS shares jump on raised growth outlook

(Reuters) - AMS AG (AMS.S) shares rose by 26 percent on Monday after the Austria-based electronic chip maker raised its revenue outlook on rising demand for its sensors from smartphone makers such as Apple (AAPL.O), beating analyst forecasts.

The increase will likely allay concerns that weak iPhone X orders are likely to persist through the first half of 2018.

AMS raised its compound annual revenue growth rate forecast for 2016-2019 to 60 percent from 40 percent. The new forecast mean 2019 revenues are now expected to be more than 2.2 billion euros, well above analyst expectations of 1.8 billion euros.

The Swiss-listed group supplies optical sensors that help adjust the brightness and colors on phone screens and can help with features like facial recognition.

AMS is also working on environmental sensors which can detect gas particles or pollution levels, as well as health monitors which can be installed on mobile phones.

“The substantial upward change... driven by a range of revenue pipeline opportunities in smartphone and consumer applications that are clearly coming into view,” AMS said.

Credit Suisse analysts said they believe these opportunities may include front-end 3D sensing in future iPhone and iPad models as well as at some Chinese smartphone vendors.

AMS said its revenue for 2017 nearly doubled to a record 1.06 billion euros ($1.32 billion).

“The numbers and prospects for 2019 are likely to put investors in good mood and give a new momentum to the shares,” Vontobel analyst Michael Foeth said.

ZKB Research analysts upgrade their recommendation on the stock to “outperform” from “market perform”, saying 2019 outlook has been increased “considerably”.

AMS shares rose 24.6 percent to 95.42 by 0834 GMT, having more than tripled in value last year as the launch of the tenth anniversary iPhone in September lifted expectations for demand.

Shares of its peer Dialog Semiconductor (DLGS.DE) jumped 7 percent, while STMicroelectronics (STM.PA) rose 3 percent.

($1 = 0.8057 euros)

Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan with additional reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdynia; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Alexander Smith

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