Intel posted earnings and revenue that were in line with consensus estimates, and Wall Street appears to be quite pleased. As a result of last night’s solid earnings report, analysts have begun to upgrade Intel and raise their price targets for the chip maker’s stock.
Intel upgraded by Wedbush
In a report dated April 15, Wedbush analyst Betsy Van Hees said she upgraded Intel from Neutral to Outperform and bumped up her price target from $34 to $37 per share. The chip maker posted adjusted earnings of 41 cents per share, which matched the consensus estimate. Revenue came in at $12.8 billion for the first quarter.
Of particular interest to Wedbush and most other analysts covering Intel was the chip maker’s guidance. Management guided for $13.3 billion, plus or minus $500 million. That suggests between a 1% decline and 7% increase quarter over quarter. It was lower than the consensus estimate of $13.5 billion.
Intel said it expects PC shipments to fall in the mid-single digits year over year but also said its supply chain inventory is being reduced significantly ahead of the Windows 10 launch. Van Hees believes the PC market has hit bottom and expects the third quarter to bring strong sequential growth ahead of the Windows 10 launch.
She also said Intel’s Client Computing Group will see a benefit from the “roll-off of contra dollars.” Mobile revenue was $202 million last year, with operating losses at $4.2 billion, mostly due to “contra dollars,” according to the Wedbush analyst. Van Hees thinks bears won’t be convinced that Intel can pull off the growth it expects, but she sees it as being doable.
Additionally, she noted Intel’s strong growth in its Data Center, NAND and Internet of Things businesses.
Other analysts also upbeat on Intel
Analyst Doug Freedman of RBC Capital Markets also upgraded Intel from Sector Perform to Outperform. He upped his price target as well, raising it from $38 to $40 per share. The analyst said Intel’s growth outlook for its data center business was upbeat. He also believes Wall Street has now fully priced in the weakness of the PC market.
Analyst Chris Caso remains Neutral-rated on Intel but was a bit more positive on the chip maker, noting that the earnings report wasn’t as bad as many expected it would be.
Intel shares have gotten killed this year, falling 13% since the first of January. Meanwhile the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 1.2%. As of this writing, shares of Intel were up 4.25% to $32.81 per share.