Consumer Electronics

Intel Unexpectedly Comes Flying Back into Favor

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) suddenly is finding itself back in favor at a time when it seems like all of the forces in technology are aligned against it. After losing out to the likes of Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) and ARM Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: ARMH) for too long in smartphones and in tablets, Intel finally may be making its new push successfully ahead. Several issues are working for the Dow Jones Industrial Average component simultaneously.

A first issue is that Barron’s gave Intel a very positive article over the weekend. Intel was called a stock that could double over the next five years or so, based on lower costs and foundry wins, plus the sentiment has been bad due to underperforming the stock market.

Another boost came from Wall Street on Monday morning. The team at FBR Capital Markets raised Intel’s rating to Outperform from Market Perform and raised its price target to $28 from a prior $23 target that has been on the books for some time. FBR feels that lost PC-related sales may be made up in part from system-on-a-chip (SoC) orders and in server strength.

What stood out the most to us was some underreported news out of Samsung. It turns out that Samsung will use Intel processors for its newest version of Galaxy tablets that should go on sale later in June. This is effectively the first big and public win for Intel as this mobility sector has been dominated by Qualcomm and ARM.

A last thing to consider is that Intel is now under a new chief executive, but perhaps that has culminated in all of these positives as it has been known for weeks.

Investors are responding with cheers as Intel’s stock price is up 3.8% at $25.20, against a 52-week trading range of $19.23 to $27.75. Pay attention closely because Intel has been so out of favor that the investment community has been negative to the point that many more upgrades could come down the pipe. Intel’s consensus price target from Wall Street analysts is only $23.44 and the peak share price was closer to $28 in early 2012. Intel trades at a market discount P/E ratio of about 13.5 after today’s nearly 4$ gain.