On Top of Stronger Guidance, Intel Even Talks Up the PC Market

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Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) shares saw a handy gain to close out the week after the company raised guidance for its third quarter. This increase is primarily driven by replenishment of personal computer (PC) supply chain inventory. Intel is also seeing some signs of improving PC demand.

The company now expects third-quarter revenue to be $15.6 billion, give or take $300 million, versus the previous estimate of $14.9 billion, plus or minus $500 million. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters are calling for $0.66 in earnings per share (EPS) on $14.9 billion in revenue for the current quarter.

Intel also forecast the midpoint of the third-quarter gross margin range at roughly 63%, which is up 1% from the same period last year, driven mostly by higher PC unit volume.

Third-quarter research and development plus marketing, general and administrative spending is expected to be approximately $5.2 billion, up from the prior expectation of approximately $5.1 billion. Third-quarter gains and losses from equity investments and interest and other income are expected to be a net loss of roughly $125 million, as compared to the prior expectation of a net loss of approximately $75 million.

Keep in mind that just a few days ago Standard & Poor’s noted that there was more upside likely for the semiconductor sales, despite the large sector gains that have been seen. The firm said:

Semiconductors were a driving force in upward revisions to Q3 and Q4 technology earnings estimates and the semiconductor stocks were rewarded (+11.5% since the start of July). From a valuation perspective, the semiconductors trade at a 33% discount to its ten year average despite the recent price appreciation. At a 15.1x price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) on a next-twelve-month basis, it is trading at a more attractive valuation than the technology sector, which has a P/E of 17.1x.

We believe that several opportunities remain within technology and specifically semiconductors. Demand for semiconductors is normally a sign of economic growth. As the economy and consumer continues to improve, so should the business prospects (and the stocks of) for companies comprising this sub-industry.

Excluding Friday’s move, Intel had outperformed the broad markets, with the stock up nearly 9% year to date. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock is up 27%.

Shares of Intel were last seen up more than 5% for the week to $37.35. The consensus analyst price target is $37.97, and the 52-week trading range is $27.68 to $38.05.