Intel Corporation (INTC) Upgraded To Neutral, PT Raised

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Are things starting to look up for Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)? Analysts at Nomura think it’s possible. They have upgraded the company’s shares from Reduce to Neutral and raised their price target from $20 to $24 per share.

Intel’s future still uncertain

Analysts Romit Shah, Sanjay Chaurasia and Sidney Ho note that uncertainty will probably remain in Intel’s near future, but they join the growing list of industry watchers who think the company may be turning a corner. Particularly, they say the company has begun to be more realistic when it comes to expectations for sales in 2014. This is a good first step, in their view.

In addition to being more realistic, the analysts said they believe Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has “meaningful operating leverage” which could appear in 2015. They note that the company’s research and development expenses are running close to a five-year high of 20% of the company’s sales. That’s compared to the average of 15%. In addition, sales, general and administrative costs are at 15%, also slightly higher than the “five-year average and low of 13.5%.”

Intel’s share price discount to shrink

The analysts said that over the last three years, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has traded at a 12% to 20% discount to the S&P 500. They think that from now on, that discount will be smaller, possibly between 10% and 15% or around a multiple of 12 to 14 times, implying a $22 to $26 per share price.

This was enough to nudge their price target up from $20 to $24 a share, based on a 13 times calendar year 2014 earnings multiple.

Other analysts like Intel too

Nomura isn’t the only firm giving Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) a bit more positive attention lately. Citi analysts upgraded the company from Neutral to Buy. Also some analysts are starting to see signs that the PC market could be bottoming out. Of course this would be a good thing for Intel.

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