Weak PC Sales To Hit Intel Corporation And AMD Again

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Intel and AMD are the two leading chip makers with a lot of exposure to the PC industry. Shares of these companies traded lower on Monday after analysts raised concerns that it won’t be possible for them to meet expectations as the laptop market is still underperforming. PC shipments declined 10.6% in 2015, marking the largest decline in the market’s history, according to IDC.

Intel may reset its full-year estimates

On Monday, Bernstein analysts lowered their rating on Intel from Market Perform to Underperform, while Deutsche Bank also slashed their first quarter estimates for the chip maker and reduced their price target from $38 to $37. In a note issued to clients, Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon said there are chances that the first quarter will be weak for Intel. Also Rasgon believes estimates for the second and third quarters are still too high and that there could be a “meaningful reset” to full-year estimates when Intel updates its guidance in April.

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“Over the last few weeks there has been much debate as to whether deteriorating industry datapoints might suggest an Intel preannouncement was in the cards. As of this writing the answer appears to be ‘no’,” Rasgon said. “However, we do not believe this means the company is necessarily out of the woods.”

Near term seems dismal for AMD

UBS reiterated its Buy rating on Intel’s stock but lowered its price target to $36. The firm lowered its estimates on AMD as well for the coming two fiscal years and reiterated its Sell rating on the stock. The UBS analysts noted that it will be hard for AMD to return to profitability and positive cash flow in light of weak PC trends.

According to UBS analyst Stephen Chin, improvement in PC demand will determine the volume of AMD’s revenue recovery, but he doesn’t see this happening anytime soon. However, the analyst believes gaming and virtual reality have bright prospects in the long term.

On Monday, Intel shares closed down 1.04% at $32.34. In the last three months, the company’s shares have declined 6% versus a 2% increase for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Meanwhile, AMD was down 4.4% at $2.80 on Monday. In the last three months, the chip maker’s shares have gone up by 10.7%.

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