Blogs -Supply Chain Issues Could Recover In Q3 2022

Supply Chain Issues Could Recover In Q3 2022

April 06, 2022


Beth Kindig

Lead Tech Analyst

This article was originally published on Forbes on Apr 1, 2022,01:24pm EDT

Aggregate Inventories Have Recovered but Auto Inventories Remain Under Pressure:

Supply chain issues have been a well-publicized event that has been hard to predict. While there have been improvements in supply chain management since the harsh production halts enforced during the pandemic, semiconductors continue to be a bottleneck in numerous industries, especially automotive.

Furthermore, the semiconductor bottleneck has had a ripple effect and has impacted industries outside of automotive production, such as ad-tech. In fact, ad-tech has been one of the most beaten-down industries due to the supply chain crisis. This is because automotive is a significant category of ad spend, and without inventory to sell, advertising budgets have been slashed. Nonetheless, we expect that this is only a temporary concern and that ad-tech will rebound in 2022 as supply chain issues begin to normalize. We especially look for discounts in tech that stem from a transient yet external issue outside of any individual company’s control.

The I/O Fund team went beyond relying on management commentary and studied the data to better understand the supply chain bottleneck. We found that aggregate inventory levels have generally recovered, but automotive inventories remain under pressure. I/O Fund Financial Analyst Bradley Cipriano notes that an analysis of automotive inventory composition suggests that the supply-chain issues have likely bottomed and will improve going forward.

The I/O Fund chose to be aggressive during the Q4 earnings season between January and March by building ad-tech positions for this reason. We expect that improving inventory trends will lead to a sharp rebound in automotive advertising in the back half of the year, driving topline growth for the ad-tech sector. We discuss why we believe that the supply chain crisis will ease around H2 2022 below.

Supply Chain Management: Aggregate Inventories Have Recovered but Auto Inventories Remain Under Pressure

The pandemic began in early 2020 and resulted in a whipsaw effect that impacted both supply and demand. With governments enforcing strict shelter in place orders, production of goods declined in 2020 but consumers still demanded goods. Government stimulus further bolstered demand and there was less of a contraction in total demand than there otherwise would have been. This dynamic led to the supply shortage that many sectors have been working through.

Since inventories are essentially the difference between production and sales over a period of time, the dynamic of reduced production but increased demand led to a sharp reduction in inventories in 2020 and 2021. As shown below in Chart 1, changes in private inventories, which is a measure of the value of the physical volume of inventories that businesses maintain to support their production, materially declined in Q2 2020. In fact, the $300 billion drawdown in inventories in Q2 2020 was the steepest drawdown in history.

However, while Q2 2020 represented the steepest decline on record, Q4 2021 represented the largest increase on record, as inventory levels bounced back by over $200 billion. This sharp rebound helps highlight that production is catching back up with demand

Chart 1. 50-year Trend of Changes in Private Inventories

Chart shows 50-year Trend of Changes in Private Inventories

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis - I/O FUND

Chart shows Three-Year Trend of Changes in Private Inventories

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis - I/O FUND

In Chart 3 (below), inventories are also rising relative to sales, suggesting that there has been a build in inventory levels. Furthermore, the metric is above the five-year average, implying that inventories are not tight on a systemic scale.

Chart 3. Five-Year Trend of Private inventories to Final Sales

Chart: Ratio of Private Inventories to Final Sale of Domestic Business

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis - I/O FUND

While the above charts highlight that there has been a strong recovery in inventory levels in the economy, it fails to take into account the types of inventories. Specifically, despite the recovery in aggregate inventories, automotive inventories have fallen to all-time lows.

Sign up for I/O Fund's free newsletter with gains of up to 403% - Click here

The below chart from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that auto inventories have declined to a record low and are hovering just above 0. Without much inventory to sell, there is little incentive to spend on advertising, which has negatively impacted ad-tech.

Chart 4. Domestic Auto Inventories

Chart: Domestic Auto Inventories

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis - I/O FUND

Chart 5. Domestic Auto Inventories to Sales Ratio

Chart: Domestic Auto Inventories to Sales Ratio

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis - I/O FUND

Data from Dentsu’s Global Ad Spend Report highlights how automotive spending is still below 2019 levels. As shown below in Chart 6, global automotive ad spend declined 16% YoY in 2020, and rebounded just 12% in 2021, meaning that global automotive ad spending was still ~6% below its pre-pandemic levels. Since automotive advertisers spend an outsized amount of their budgets on TV ads, ad-tech companies exposed to connected TVs have been especially impacted by the soft recovery in auto ad budgets shown below. As I’ll discuss in more detail below, we believe that automotive ad spending has bottomed and will be a tailwind for ad-tech going forward.

Chart 6. Automotive Global Paid Search Ad Spend

Chart shows the annual change in Global Automotive Ad Spend

Source: Dentsu Global Ad Spend Report - I/O FUND

Curiously, despite the fact that auto inventories are at record lows, automobile manufacturers’ inventories are also at an all-time high. As shown below in Chart 7, total inventory levels in the automotive manufacturing industry have surged throughout 2021 and into 2022.

Chart 7. Automotive Total Inventories

Chart: Automotive Manufacturing Total Inventories

Source: U.S. Census Bureau - I/O FUND

These disparate trends are driven by the well-publicized semiconductor bottleneck. As Chart 7 highlights above, automotive manufacturers have large amounts of nearly completed inventory that is sitting idle until semiconductor supply arrives.

Once the supply of semiconductors arrive, automotive manufacturers should be able to quickly ramp and turn work-in-process inventory into finished goods that can be sold. Moreover, this should also drive demand for advertising as auto manufacturers look to quickly convert their inventory into cash.

Fortunately, there are signs of improvement for supply chain issues, specifically from the automotive industry. For instance, Volkswagen Group’s management team explained on their Q4 call that they “expect semiconductor supply bottlenecks to continue in 2022but gradually improve in the second half of the year” (03/15/22).

General Motors echoed similar sentiment during its Q4 earnings call. GM CEO Mary Barra stated that “by the time we get to third and fourth quarter [of 2022], we're going to be really starting to see the semiconductor constraints diminish” (02/01/22).

However, this sentiment was not shared by all automotive executives. CEO of Stellantis, maker of Dodge RAM, Fiat and other brands, stated on the company’s Q4 call (2/23/22) that the size of the automotive market will be driven by the supply of semiconductors, adding that “hopefully, things will get a little bit better. But we believe it's going to be very slow. It will take time. And 2022 is not going to be from that perspective, the year where we can say we are back to normal. We don't think that will happen”

Looking forward, automotive manufacturers have outsized raw material and work-in-process inventory that will help them quickly ramp production once semiconductor supply improves. The timing of this ramp remains unknown, with some auto executives expecting H2 2022 to be a return to normal, and others forecasting a longer horizon.

Next Tuesday, we will discuss the signs of improvement at key automotive semiconductor suppliers and what this means for ad-tech including one strategic bet the I/O Fund made in ad-tech during the January-March selloff.

Bradley Cipriano, Financial Analyst, CFA, CPA at I/O Fund, contributed to this analysis.

Gains of up to 403% from our Free Newsletter.

Here are sample stock gains from the I/O Fund’s newsletter --- produced weekly and all for free!

+344% on Nvidia

+403% on Bitcoin

+218% on Roku

*as of March 15, 2022

Our newsletter provides an edge in the world’s most valuable industry – technology. Due to the enormous gains from this particular industry, we think it’s essential that every stock investor have a credible source who specializes in tech. Subscribe for Free Weekly Analysis on the Best Tech Stocks.

If you are a more serious investor, we have a premium service that offers lower entries and real-time trade alerts. Sample returns on the premium site include 324% on Zoom, 601% on Nvidia, 445% on Bitcoin, and 4-digits on an alt-coin. The I/O Fund is audited annually to prove it’s one of the best performing Funds on the market with returns that beat Wall Street funds. 


More To Explore


Where the Market is Headed Next

Where the Market is Headed Next

When the market was selling tech last year, the I/O Fund was buying AI leaders. For example, from September 2021 through January of 2023, we initiated 9 buy alerts for NVDA below $210. The last two al

June 08, 2023,format

Apple Bets On The Emerging Markets Growth Story

The smartphone market continues to be hit hard in q1, with prices down 20% and shipments down 13%, according to Canalys. Despite double digit decline across the industry, Apple delivered marginal grow

June 05, 2023
Nvidia Will "Still" Surpass Apple's Valuation

Nvidia Will “Still” Surpass Apple’s Valuation

My coverage on Nvidia as an AI leader began in 2018 (yes, really – five years ago). Since then, I’ve covered the AI microtrend for this specific stock 27 times on my research site, which is the equiva

May 29, 2023
FAAMG Stocks Trading At Precarious Valuations

FAAMG Stocks Trading At Precarious Valuations

The mega-cap stocks that are known as FAAMG reported earnings recently. These names are driving the market higher, especially Microsoft and Apple. In fact, the percentage of Microsoft and Apple’s comb

May 15, 2023
Apple PC Screen

Apple’s Stock In Focus: More Profitable Than Banks

Investors looking for the “next big thing” will point toward companies like Stripe, Sofi or Square as the leading fintech stocks. Meanwhile, the next big thing to disrupt the financial sector may be s

May 04, 2023
Netflix Remote Control

This Stock Price For Netflix Is A “Buy” For 2023

In April of 2022, Netflix surprised the markets by reporting its first subscriber loss in nearly 10 years. The stock tumbled 35% the following day, as investors panicked. Famed hedge fund manager, Bil

May 03, 2023
Where the I/O Fund Holds Cash When Banks Keeps Failing

Where the I/O Fund Holds Cash When Banks Keeps Failing

Amidst the growing skepticism in our banking sector, we thought it would be helpful to introduce an alternative way to both protect and diversify one’s assets. The information below discusses a method

April 20, 2023
Tesla Building

Tesla Stock: What You Need To Know About Q1 Earnings

Two months ago, we wrote that after realizing gains of 31%, it was time to take a time out on Tesla at the $208.31 price when our firm stated: “Right now, our technical analysis is at odds with our fu

April 16, 2023
Bitcoin Vs Banks: Here's Where the Price Goes Next

Bitcoin Vs Banks: Here's Where the Price Goes Next

The recent decoupling of Bitcoin from equities, we believe, is the start of a new uptrend that appears to be inversely correlated to the financial sector. The financial media would have us believe tha

April 05, 2023
Official Press Release: I/O Fund's Cumulative Returns Double the Nasdaq Following a Tough 2022

Official Press Release: I/O Fund’s Cumulative Returns Double the Nasdaq Following a Tough 2022

Actively managed portfolio and research site announces its largest cumulative lead over institutional all-tech portfolios. The I/O Fund defies a challenging market, outperforming peers and providing i

March 30, 2023

Sign up for Analysis on
the Best Tech Stocks
The I/O Fund specializes in tech growth stocks and offers in-depth research for Premium Members. Investors get access to a transparent portfolio of 30 positions, a private forum, webinars, and real-time trade notifications. Sign up for Premium.

We are on social networks

Copyright © 2010 - 2023
Get Free Weekly Analysis on the Best Tech Stocks