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Trending: Taiwan Semi Faces Pressure Even as Demand for Chips Skyrockets

Dividend.com analyzes the search patterns of our visitors each week. By sharing these trends with our readers, we hope to provide insights into what the financial world is concerned about and how to position your portfolio.

Taiwan Semiconductor tops the list as the chip manufacturer is scrambling to meet rising demand for chips. Bank of America, which trended in first position two weeks ago thanks to an increase in dividend, is second this time around. Computer and smartphone giant Apple is third, as the company has benefited from rumors of potential high demand for its smartphones. Fourth in the list is ExxonMobil, the oil juggernaut that recently lost a proxy contest against a small ESG hedge fund.

Don’t forget to read our previous edition of trends here.

Taiwan Semiconductor

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) has taken first place in the list this week with an advance in viewership of 42%. The Taiwan-based company, which manufactures more than half of the world’s chips, is facing high demand for its services due to a global chip shortage fueled by rising demand from car manufacturers.

At the same time, Taiwan Semi is facing a threat from governments like the U.S., China and Europe, which are not happy about the situation. The U.S approved a bill of $54 billion to boost chip production at home, the European Union set a target to increase domestic chip production to 20% of global demand, while China is moving in a similar direction. Meanwhile, U.S. iconic integrated chip manufacturer Intel (INTC) has acquired GlobalFoundries for $30 billion in a clear bid to step up its own production as demand is soaring.

These developments have prompted Taiwan Semi founder Morris Chang to warn that big investments in chip manufacturing could leave countries worse off, ending up with a lot of money spent and years lost in technology development. Chang agreed that governments should have domestic supply chains for national security, but he also said a market solution is needed for fulfilling commercial demand.

Taiwan Semi currently pays an annual dividend of $1.98 per share, amounting to a yield of 1.7%.

TSM Barchart Interactive Chart 07 20 2021 (1)

 
Source: Barchart.com

Bank of America

Bank of America (BAC) is second in the list this time around, with its viewership rising by 18% over the past two weeks. The bank trended in both fortnights as it increased its dividend by 17% to an annual $0.84 per share. The move came after it successfully passed a stress test conducted by the Federal Reserve.

Bank of America this week reported a small earnings miss. The bank recorded revenues of $21.6 billion, missing analyst expectations of $21.8 billion and 4% lower compared to last year. The company blamed the results on lower interest rates and weaker trading revenues. Adjusted earnings per share came in at $0.80, three cents above analysts’ expectations.

Bank of America’s currently yields around 2%. The bank has been one of the best performers among its peers.

BAC Barchart Interactive Chart 07 20 2021

 
Source: Barchart.com

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Apple

Apple (AAPL) has taken third spot in the list, seeing its viewership advance 7%. Apple shares have had a good run over the past 12 months, appreciating by 46% and reaching a market capitalization of $2.4 trillion.

Shares in Apple have seen a further boost recently, after press rumors suggested the company ordered its suppliers to boost production of new generation iPhones by 20% to 90 million models. In addition to rising sales of its key product iPhone, Apple is seeing increased demand for its services unit, including Apple Music and Apple Pay, as well as its earphones and Apple Watch.

The stock’s momentum has not abated even after news that Apple has become the third-largest smartphone seller after Samsung and Xiaomi. Samsung remains the largest producer with 19% of the market followed by Xiaomi with 17% and Apple with 14%. Apple’s margins on its iPhones, however, cannot be beaten.

Apple pays an annual dividend of $0.84 per share, equal to a dividend yield of 0.56%.

AAPL Barchart Interactive Chart 07 20 2021

 
Source: Barchart.com

Check out our latest Best Dividend Stocks List here.

ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil (XOM) is last in the list with a rise in viewership of 3%. Exxon has trended these past two weeks as the oil major lost a proxy contest to tiny hedge fund Engine No. 1, which took a small $40 million stake. As a result, three new directors joined the board of Exxon out of the four sought by the activist investor.

The Engine victory is a clear sign that Exxon investors want the company to move with more urgency on tackling climate change by investing less in oil and more in renewable energy. It remains to be seen if the new board members will be able to push the company in a new direction like its peer BP (BP), which committed to become a net-zero company by 2050.

Shares in ExxonMobil are up by 34% so far this year, thanks to rising oil prices and investor optimism the company will change its strategy to become more environmentally sustainable.

Exxon pays a dividend of $3.48 per share, equal to a yield of nearly 6%.

XOM Barchart Interactive Chart 07 20 2021

 
Source: Barchart.com

The Bottom Line

Taiwan Semiconductor is facing high demand for its products as well as challenges from the world’s most powerful governments, which want to boost domestic chip production. Bank of America released a slightly disappointing earnings release, although the company remains one of the best performers in the financial services industry. Apple has reportedly ordered its suppliers to increase production of next-generation iPhones by 20%. Finally, oil major Exxon lost a proxy contest to a tiny hedge fund that is pushing for a change in strategy toward being more environmentally friendly.

Be sure to check out Dividend.com’s News section for next week’s Market Wrap and other great dividend investing news.