(Bloomberg) -- Texas Instruments Inc. shares jumped as much as 8.5% on Wednesday, the biggest intraday gain in more than four years, after the chipmaker’s revenue forecast indicated that a slump in demand may be easing.

Sales in the current period will be as much as $3.95 billion, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Analysts had estimated $3.78 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profit will be $1.05 to $1.25 a share, versus a prediction of $1.17.

The report suggests that customers have begun to resume ordering chips after working through stockpiles of components — a good sign for the broader industry. Texas Instruments, which has the widest customer base among chipmakers, serves as a bellwether for confidence in the economy — across industries ranging from space hardware to consumer electronics. 

The shares rose as high as $179.49 in New York, the most since April 6, 2020. They had been down almost 3% this year through Tuesday’s close.

Most of the customers in the company’s biggest segment — industrial equipment makers — have completed their inventory reduction efforts, Texas Instruments said. But some are still working through the process. That’s made for an uneven recovery in demand, Chief Financial Officer Rafael Lizardi said in an interview.

“Some end markets are still going down, and there are some that are behaving differently,” he said. “Ninety days ago, all end markets in industrial were going down.” 

Still, the company isn’t reading too much into these early signs, which could be false indicators, he said. The chipmaker said it would continue its policy of not making broad predictions about future demand. 

The forecast followed more than a year of shrinking sales. Revenue in first quarter declined 16% to $3.66 billion, marking the lowest level since 2020. Analysts had estimated $3.6 billion. Profit was $1.20 a share, down from $1.85 a year earlier.

The stock had lagged behind a rally by the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index this year. Investors have poured money into companies such as Nvidia Corp., rewarding them for the surge in orders related to artificial intelligence computing. 

Texas Instruments, meanwhile, is the biggest maker of analog semiconductors and embedded processors. Its products perform simple but vital functions, such as converting power to different voltages within electronics.

Though some of its chips are used in the same machinery as Nvidia’s processors, many more of its products perform more prosaic roles in household electronics, factory machinery and vehicles. 

Such chips generally require less advanced production techniques than digital products, but the company has embarked on an ambitious plan to revamp its manufacturing facilities. As part that effort, Texas Instruments will all but end outsourcing of production.

That should give Texas Instruments an advantage over competitors, particularly nascent ones in China, the company has argued. It is budgeting about $5 billion a year for new plants and equipment through 2026, an outlay that is weighing on profitability.

“That is where we have to fight,” Lizardi said. “China is the most competitive market. That’s where we have the best and most agile competitors.” 

--With assistance from Subrat Patnaik.

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