Intel Corporation (INTC): Upside If PC Sales Fall Less Than 8%

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Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) published a decent earnings report last week despite a poor PC market in the first quarter. A new report from Macquarie Research suggests that if PC sales for the entirety of 2013 drop by less than 7.7 percent, there could be an upside to the stock. The analysis points to a silver lining for Intel investors in an era when the company looks increasingly vulnerable.

Intel Corporation (INTC): Upside If PC Sales Fall Less Than 8%

In the first quarter of 2013, the Macquarie analysts estimate that quarter on quarter processor shipments fell by 8 percent. That number was above the fall in PC shipments in the same quarter, meaning that Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) may see harder hits in future quarters, or it may have been disproportionately saved from the slowdown in the PC market.

According to the report, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) share of the PC market stood at an estimated 85 percent in the first quarter of the year, a ten year high for the company and a sign that it had indeed been disproportionately spared from the slowdown in the market. That trend may not continue for the rest of the year, however.

Research also suggests that the supply chain for PCs is actually short of processors, indicating that Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) may be able to reduce its inventories before it launches its new Haswell chips in the fourth quarter of 2013. The weight of inventories on the company’s bottom line is something of increasing interest as the PC market has slowed.

The result of these trends seems to suggest that Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) will see a better 2013 than has been expected, but it all depends on one number, the factor by which PC demand slows. Macquarie’s research suggesting a drop of around 8 percent is priced in, so anything less than that could mean a reasonable upside for the firm.

The earnings report maintained a target price of $25.40 on Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), and didn’t change the revenue and earnings estimates it had previously put on the company, despite a possible upside from changes in the PC market.

On today’s market, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) shares rose by 2 percent as a wave of optimism about the company’s earnings report continued. Since the release of the earnings report, Intel shares have increased by more than 6 percent, while shares have risen by more than 13 percent since the start of 2013.

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