Long-Term Play: How AVGO's Focus on Artificial Intelligence Drives Growth

Broadcom Inc. (AVGO), a global tech leader that develops and supplies semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions, exceeded analysts’ expectations for both revenue and earnings in the first quarter of fiscal year 2024. Its revenue and EPS came in at $11.96 billion and $10.99, surpassing the analysts’ estimates of $11.72 billion and $10.42, respectively.

For the quarter that ended February 4, 2024, the company’s net revenue witnessed a 34.2% increase year-over-year. The revenue increase was primarily driven by AVGO’s acquisition of VMware in November 2023, which accelerated growth in its infrastructure software segment. Also, the company saw a high demand for its networking products, particularly in AI data centers and custom AI accelerators from hyperscalers.

AVGO’s first-quarter non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP earnings per common share rose 17.2% and 6.4% from the prior year’s period to $5.25 billion and $10.99, respectively. Furthermore, the company’s adjusted EBITDA grew 26% from the year-ago value to $7.16 billion.

Broadcom’s fiscal 2024 software revenue guidance is set at an impressive $20 billion. Additionally, fueled by the sustained robust demand for AI NAND, the company anticipates networking revenue to exceed 35% year-on-year growth, surpassing its early projection of 30% annual growth.

Moreover, it projects moderate to strong single-digit percentage year-over-year growth in its Semiconductor Solutions division for fiscal 2024. AVGO has reiterated its consolidated revenue target of $50 billion, representing a 40% increase year-over-year. It has also reiterated its adjusted EBITDA forecast of $30 billion for the year, a 60% growth rate.

In addition, Streets expects Broadcom’s revenue and earnings per share for the second quarter of fiscal 2024, ending April 2024, to rise by 37.3% and 4.9% to $11.99 billion and $10.82, respectively.

Several Cutting-Edge Innovations and Breakthroughs

On March 14, 2024, AVGO launched Bailly, the industry's first groundbreaking 51.2 Tbps CPO Ethernet switch. The innovation would allow hyperscalers to establish energy-efficient and cost-effective large-scale AI and computing clusters.

AVGO’s technology leadership and manufacturing innovations will ensure that Bailly delivers 70% better power efficiency and an optical I/O roadmap that aligns with the future bandwidth and power needs of AI infrastructure.

Furthermore, the tech company’s March 13 announcements showcased vital advancements extending its market leadership with an expanded portfolio of optical interconnect solutions for AI and ML applications. The cutting-edge optics support high-speed data transfers in large-scale generative AI compute clusters, connecting front-end and back-end networks.

Key achievements unveiled by Broadcom include the production release of 200-Gbps per lane electro-absorption modulated laser (EML) to pair with next-gen GPUs, the demonstration of the industry’s first 200G/lane vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL), and the shipment of over 20 million channels of 100G/lane high-speed optical components used in AI/ML systems.

Moreover, AVGO showcased the continuous wave (CW) laser with high efficiency and high linearity for silicon photonics (SiPh) modulation at 200G. These breakthroughs will revolutionize high-speed interconnects within AI clusters, facilitating front-end and back-end generative AI compute networks.

“Generative AI has unleashed a network transformation necessitating an order of magnitude increase in high-speed optical links compared to standard network requirements,” said Near Margalit, vice president and general manager of the Optical Systems Division at AVGO. “We will continue to invest in VCSEL, EML and CW laser technologies to deliver disruptive innovation in bandwidth, power and latency for optical interconnects in next generation AI links.”

According to Dr. Vladimir Kozlov, founder and CEO of LightCounting Market Research, Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) and NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) will lead the way as the initial adopters of 200G per lane optics for linking GPUs and TPUs in AI clusters, which is currently a highly sought-after segment in the market.

Kozlov added that Broadcom, known for pioneering innovative components, is once again at the forefront by supplying the necessary technology for the next generation of optical transceivers, supporting the rapid evolution of AI infrastructure.

“NVIDIA is at the forefront of photonics innovation, and Broadcom has been an important optical-component partner, matching the pace and scale required as we advance our HPC and AI optical-interconnect technology,” said Craig Thompson, vice president of LinkX products at NVDA. 

At Innolight, we have been deploying leading-edge optical interconnect solutions for AI, ML and HPC applications,” stated Osa Mok, CMO at Innolight Technology. “We are excited to continue our partnership with Broadcom to develop advanced terabit optical modules for generative AI, enabling AI clusters to scale and support the next generation of LLMs.”

Also, Sean Davies, vice president of sales at Eoptolink Technology, said, “We are excited to partner with Broadcom to bring to market state-of-the-art solutions to enable terabit connectivity and drive new generative AI architectures.”

Dividend Growth Trajectory

AVGO recently declared a quarterly dividend of $5.25 per share, payable on March 29, 2024, to shareholders on record as of March 21, 2024. This increase brings the annual dividend to $21 per share. The company has increased its dividends for 13 consecutive years.

Moreover, over the past five years, the company’s dividend payouts have grown at a CAGR of 19.3%. AVGO’s annual dividend translates to a yield of 1.70% at the prevailing stock price.

The company's strong financial performance and success in the AI chips market, along with synergies from a recent merger, suggest ongoing earnings growth, which supports the potential for future dividend increases.

Valuation Concerns

While all seems well, AVGO's substantial surge over the past year has led to a lofty valuation. Its forward P/E ratio stands at 61.45x, 118.2% higher than the industry average of 28.16x. Likewise, the stock’s forward EV/Sales and forward Price/Sales of 12.68x and 11.41x are 337.4% and 295.7% higher than the industry averages of 2.90x and 2.88x, respectively.

Thus, buying shares of AVGO at the moment might not be the best investment decision. However, one could closely monitor this stock as its strong AI business could drive significant growth in the future.

Favorable Analyst Estimates

Citigroup (C) analyst Christopher Danely strongly recommends buying AVGO stock, with a price target of $1,100. The upgrade is based on the company's solid core business performance and the positive impact expected from its VMware acquisition after the release of its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2023 earnings.

AVGO’s impressive financial results, particularly the contributions from AI, played a key role in this decision. Notably, the management has significantly increased its AI spending target from $4 billion in 2023 to more than $8 billion in 2024.

Currently, 86.7% of top-rated analysts rate AVGO as a Strong Buy or Buy, while 13.3% consider it a Hold. None suggest selling the stock. Analysts forecast AVGO’s upcoming year to yield earnings per share of $39.68, marking an 18.5% year-over-year increase if predictions hold true.

Bottom Line

AVGO’s impact on global connectivity is profound. The semiconductor giant supplies chips for virtually all internet-connected devices and is evolving into a software solutions provider for businesses. Broadcom has been primarily benefiting from the robust adoption of AI. The stock has gained more than 45% over the past six months and around 97% over the past year.

During the first quarter of fiscal 2024, the company’s AI revenues under its semiconductor segment quadrupled year-over-year to $2.30 billion. Further, AVGO projects fiscal 2024 AI revenues of nearly $10 billion, higher than the prior guidance of $7.50 billion and account for about 35% of semiconductor revenues, up from previous guidance of 25%.

AVGO recently announced key accomplishments, extending its market leadership with an expanded portfolio of optical interconnect solutions for AI and ML applications. These developments signify significant progress in incorporating state-of-the-art optical technologies into the constantly shifting realm of AI infrastructure.

The collaboration between Broadcom and key industry leaders like NVIDIA, Innolight Technology, and Eoptolink Technology further highlights the cooperative approach toward advancing AI/ML optical transceiver technologies. This joint endeavor seeks to meet the increasing need for larger AI clusters while fostering innovation in generative AI architectures.

Despite its high valuation, the company boasts strong business fundamentals and prospects amid emerging AI capabilities, making it a reliable long-term investment option.

Rising Rates: Financials Will Greatly Benefit

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 75-basis points at its most recent meeting and forecasted that a similar rate hike could on the table in July. These efforts are necessary to stamp out the persistently high inflation throughout the economy.

The most recent 75-basis point rate hike was the largest since the 1994 rate tightening cycle.

The financial cohort will benefit via a confluence of a rising interest rates, financially strong balance sheets and the easy passage of annual stress tests to support expanded buybacks and increased dividends.

Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), Citigroup (C) and Goldman Sachs (GS) look appealing at these levels, off substantially from their 52-week highs.

Net Interest Income

Net interest income is an important financial measure that is essentially the difference between interest paid and interest received thus the revenue generated by its loans and interest paid out on its deposit base.

Bank stocks perform well in a rising interest rate environment as the interest income earned from loans rises faster than what they pay for funding. The higher interest rates go, the greater the net interest income banks earn.

Immaterial Geopolitical Exposure

The big banking cohort has minimal to no direct exposure to Russia/Ukraine thus not tied directly to the geopolitical conflict. This is especially important as the geopolitical tensions rage on and possibly snap up these stocks as a function of overall market sentiment.

Overall, the big banks generate an inconsequential amount of revenue from Russia. For example, BAC, JPM and MS do not have direct exposure to Russia in their regulatory filings.

However, GS is estimated to have $940 million total exposure to Russia and Ukraine, or less than 0.1% of its total assets, per Bank of America. Citigroup (C) had $9.8 billion exposure to Russia, including $5.4 billion in Russia-specific exposure, equating to only 0.3% of the bank’s total assets.

As such, there is not a single company within the collective big bank cohort has any more than 0.3% of its total assets exposed to the Russian/Ukraine conflict.

2022 Financial Stress Tests

The financial cohort easily cleared the Federal Reserve's annual stress test, removing any concern that there’s systemic financial risk in the economy, circa 2008.

The results of the Fed's annual stress test exercise showed the banks have enough capital to weather a severe economic downturn and paves the way for them to expand share buybacks and increase dividend payouts.

The 34 lenders with more than $100 billion in assets that the Fed oversees would suffer a combined $612 billion in losses under a hypothetical severe downturn, the central bank said. But that would still leave them with roughly twice the amount of capital required under its rules.

The Fed assesses how banks' balance sheets would fare against a hypothetical severe economic downturn. The results dictate how much capital banks need to be healthy and how much they can return to shareholders via share buybacks and dividends. This stress test gives investors comfort that the big banks are well-prepared for a potential U.S. recession.

The 2022 stress tests are especially important as the world faces a geopolitical crisis that may reverberate through the global economy. All this considered, it’s refreshing to know that these stress tests were easily passed and indicate that the biggest U.S. banks could easily withstand a severe recession.


The geopolitical backdrop, rising inflation, China Covid lockdowns and rising interest rates will continue to weigh on investor sentiment.

The financial cohort is much more resilient and capitalized and have demonstrated their ability to evolve in the face of the pandemic and will weather these economic challenges as well. The 2022 stress tests were easily passed and indicate that the biggest U.S. banks could easily withstand a severe recession or geopolitical crisis.

This cohort presents compelling value, especially with substantially reduced valuations in a rising interest rate environment into 2023, which may serve as a long-term tailwind for banks to appreciate higher.

Just recently, MS and BAC boosted dividend by 11% and 5%, respectively. MS also authorized a new $20 billion share repurchase program. The positive results of these annual stress tests will likely allow expanded capital returns over the years to come in a fiscally responsible and accountable manner.

Noah Kiedrowski
INO.com Contributor

Disclosure: Stock Options Dad LLC is a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) firm specializing in options-based services and education. There are no business relationships with any companies mentioned in this article. This article reflects the opinions of the RIA. Any recommendation contained in this article is subject to change at any time. No recommendation is intended to constitute an entire portfolio. The author encourages all investors to conduct their own research and due diligence prior to investing or taking any actions in options trading. Please feel free to comment and provide feedback; the author values all responses. The author is the founder and Managing Member of Stock Options Dad LLC – A Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) firm www.stockoptionsdad.com defining risk, leveraging a minimal amount of capital and maximizing return on investment. For more engaging, short-duration options-based content, visit Stock Options Dad LLC’s YouTube channel. Please direct all inquires to in**@st*************.com. The author holds shares of AAPL, ADBE, AMD, AMZN, ARKK, AXP, BA, BBY, C, CMG, COST, CRM, DIA, DIS, EW, FB, FDX, FXI, GOOGL, GS, HD, HON, INTC, IWM, JPM, MRK, MS, MSFT, NKE, NVDA, PYPL, QQQ, SPY, SQ, TMO, UNH, USO, V and WMT.

Did The Fed Just Send A Message?

In case you missed it, last Friday, the Federal Reserve agreed to let a year-long suspension of capital requirements for big banks that allowed them to exclude Treasury securities and deposits held at the Fed from their supplementary leverage ratio expire at the end of the month.

While the subject of bank capital ratios usually puts some people to sleep, the Fed decision could have very real consequences for the financial markets and the nascent economic rebound at large. It also seems to diverge from the Fed’s own stated and oft-repeated monetary policies.

Then again, the Fed may have just sent a subtle message that its low-rate stance is about to change.

As the New York Times explained, the intention of relaxing the banks’ capital requirements last year at the outset of the pandemic-induced economic lockdown “was to make it easier for financial institutions to absorb government bonds and reserves and still continue lending. Otherwise, banks might have stopped such activities to avoid increasing their assets and hitting the leverage cap, which would mean raising capital. But it also lowered bank capital requirements, which drew criticism.”

At a practical level, Friday’s decision may add further fuel to the fire that is driving up bond yields by discouraging banks from buying Treasury securities, which would seem to run counter to the Fed’s low-interest-rate policy. The Fed, of course, is buying trillions of dollars of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities, which it has stated it has no intention of stopping. Yet, it saw fit to make a move that could have the effect of driving the banks – also big buyers of government securities – out of the market. So why did the Fed do this? Continue reading "Did The Fed Just Send A Message?"

The Prospect Of Higher Rates Boost Big Banks

The prospect of rising interest rates has propelled bank stocks to all-high highs. Citigroup (C), JPMorgan (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), and Goldman Sachs (GS) have appreciated double digits over the past three months, breaking out to all-time highs. Rising interest rates combined with the highly disruptive COVID-19 backdrop abating has served as the foundation for this move higher. The big banks responded and evolved in the face of COVID-19 to the real possibility of widespread loan defaults, liquidity issues, ballooning credit card debt, and stressed mortgages. To exacerbate these COVID-19 impacts, interest rates, Federal Reserve actions, yield curve inversion, and liquidity heavily weighed on the sector.

Along with this turn higher, balance sheets have become even stronger now that share buybacks have been halted and dividend payouts were arrested. Large capital reserves have already been put aside for anticipated financial challenges. The big banks have demonstrated their ability to evolve in the face of COVID-19 and present compelling value. Now with the prospect of rising rates, this may serve as a long-term tailwind for banks to appreciate higher.


COVID-19 and Financial Crisis – Lessons Learned

The big banks are far stronger and more prepared than they were during the 2008 Financial Crisis. Lessons learned from the Financial Crisis yielded rigorous annual stress tests that forced banks to maintain a slew of fiscal discipline measures. With the Federal Reserve working in-hand with the banks, a financial bridge to those businesses and consumers negatively impacted by COVID-19 as a stop-gap measure has been afforded. As this pandemic subsides and economic activity rebounds the banks' present value. Add in the prospect of higher rates, and the banks are set-up for long-term appreciation. Their strong cash positions and healthy balance sheets are allowing dividends to continue as the economy transitions through the damage of the pandemic. Continue reading "The Prospect Of Higher Rates Boost Big Banks"

The Conundrum Continues

Just how bad are things for the U.S. economy anyway? If you just finished reading the financial news headlines the past few days, you can't be blamed for being just a little confused.

From the government side, you would swear that the sky is falling. Not only is the COVID-19-fueled financial crisis ongoing, but it might also be getting even worse. Last week, we heard it from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and this week from his predecessor, Janet Yellen, President Biden's nominee for Treasury Secretary.

"The economy is far from our goals" of full employment and sustained 2% inflation, Powell said at a webcast sponsored by Princeton University. Therefore, he said, "Now is not the time to be talking about exit" from easy money policies. "When the time comes to raise interest rates, we will certainly do that," he said. "And that time, by the way, is no time soon."

Yellen painted an even bleaker picture. "Economists don't always agree, but I think there is a consensus now: Without further action, we risk a longer, more painful recession now—and long-term scarring of the economy later," she said in prepared remarks for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee.

While not dismissing the concern that "further action" would add to the already humungous federal debt burden – now at $21.6 trillion and expected to grow even more under Biden – Yellen was more worried about the possible consequences of not spending enough. Continue reading "The Conundrum Continues"