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Chipmaker TI forecasts earnings below estimates as automotive demand sputters

A Texas Instruments Office is shown in San Diego, California

(Reuters) -Chipmaker Texas Instruments forecast first-quarter revenue and profit below market estimates on Tuesday, as early signs of weakness in the automotive sector add to worries over a persistent supply glut in its industrial markets.

The analog chipmaker's shares fell more than 4% in extended trading.

TI's projection fans concerns the automotive chip industry may also face a downturn after managing to remain on the sidelines of the supply glut crisis faced by other markets.

Peer Mobileye also forecast preliminary 2024 revenue below estimates, with a pullback in orders from its customers clearing excess inventory.

Summit Insights analyst Kinngai Chan pinned supply chain corrections in the automotive segment to weaker demand for electric vehicles and the United Auto Workers strikes at major automakers.

Chan expects inventory corrections to continue into the first quarter and then recover in the second half of the year.

Revenue from the automotive market, once one of TI's fastest growing - was down in mid-single-digits in the fourth quarter, while sales to industrial customers - the company's largest by revenue share - declined in mid-teens .

In response to analysts' questions regarding slower-than-expected recovery in key market China, head of Investor relations David Pahl said "from a dollar standpoint... sequentially, all the regions were down with the exception of the rest of Asia".

Texas Instruments also continued to reduce factory loadings in the fourth quarter, looking to ship below already weak end-market demand to help normalize inventory levels, Pahl said.

The company forecast first-quarter revenue between $3.45 billion and $3.75 billion, compared with analysts' average estimate of $4.06 billion, according to LSEG data. The company's forecast for earnings per share for the current quarter was also below estimates.

(Reporting by Arsheeya Bajwa in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)