Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) shares climbed by more than 2% to as high as $33.94 following a price target increase from one firm and an upgrade from another. Both firms mention the PC market, which was historically the chip maker’s bread and butter and is showing signs of stabilizing, although reports about it grabbing some iPhone 7 orders from Qualcomm offer more promise.
Their positive reports come on the heels of a price target increase from Pacific Crest earlier this week.
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Intel to benefit from strength in PCs
RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani said in a report dated July 8 that he has increased his price target for Intel stock from $33 to $34 per share, although he maintained his Sector Perform rating on it. Specifically, he increased his revenue estimates for the Client Computing Group as a result of the recent strength in PCs.
He’s now projecting $30.2 billion in revenue for the segment for fiscal 2016, which amounts of 52% of Intel’s total sales. He explains that the broader PC market might decline in the high-single digits this year or about 7%, his checks suggest that in the near term, there’s strength in the PC market based on a number of positive data points. In fact, he said PCs might have grown in the high-single digits sequentially in the second quarter.
One of the data points he indicated as a sign of strength in the PC market is the May ODM data, which suggests a 28% month over month increase in notebook units shipped in May, bringing this number to 9.2 million units among the top four PC makers. He adds that this increase was higher than typical seasonality.
Daryanani also expects a tailwind from the iPhone 7 production ramp as Intel was reported to have won a chunk of the orders. He estimates that the chip maker will see $300 million to $500 million in incremental revenues in the Client Computing Group in the second half of this year, depending on average selling prices and allocations.
For Intel’s June quarter, he expects $13.54 billion in sales, which is in line with consensus, and earnings of 54 cents per share, which is a penny ahead of consensus. For the September quarter, he’s ahead of the Street at $14.68 billion and 69 cents per share, compared to Wall Street’s $14.61 billion and 64 cents per share consensus.
Bernstein upgrades Intel
Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon, upgraded Intel to Market Perform and raised his price target from $26 to $30 per share, reversing his downgrade in April before the earnings call. He expected a major “reset to numbers” and notes that one did occur in revenues, but Intel was able to preserve its earnings by reducing its headcount dramatically and making some other accounting changes. He believes there is a “relatively low” risk of the chip maker missing estimates for the June quarter. He also thinks it’s unlikely that management’s guidance is “relatively low” due to the recent recovery in the PC market, although he believes this recovery is only temporary.
He plans to revisit his rating on Intel later this year if upside in the June quarter is driven by PCs.