One part of the technology sector that has had a very rough go of it in 2015 is the semiconductors as personal computer sales have slowed to a crawl, and the issues in China have dampened the overall momentum of the industry. A new research report from Deutsche Bank has one word for investors, and it is selectivity.
The Deutsche Bank team noted the caution expressed at the company’s technology conference, and China was indicated by many as the primary driver of incremental headwinds, via both broad-based demand softness and channel inventory burn. They suggest that investors be very careful with stock selection, and look for value.
We focused on three top stocks that are rated Buy at the firm.
This top chip company has been in the doghouse on Wall Street all year, and the recent very positive earnings report certainly has helped to lift the pall hanging over the company. Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) is one of the companies regarded as having among the highest shareholders cash returns at approximately 8%, but it has lagged high-growth specialty chip stocks. The iconic chip giant had a stellar 2014 on the tailwind from continued PC sales, but this year has been a far different story. Despite the second-quarter earnings report, the stock is down a gigantic 18.2% year to date.
Intel purchased chip rival Altera for a massive $16.8 billion. Some on Wall Street view the deal pessimistically, citing its high cost, aggressive growth assumptions on the part of Intel, and the increase in debt. Others feel the addition will help Intel start to move away from PC dependence. Intel’s pending acquisition of the company would put it into the traditional fabless market of programmable logic devices, but ultimately by 2020 50% of Altera’s product line could be manufactured at Intel facilities.
A new focus at Intel beyond the PC world is positive for the company going forward. Many analysts think that the company’s new chip, which is a collaboration with Micron Technology called the 3D XPoint, could be primarily In-Memory compute in servers and its launch should coincide with Intel’s Purley platform server launch in 2016. This is another huge positive step-out from PC dependence.
Intel investors are paid an outstanding 3.31% dividend. The Deutsche Bank target price for the stock is $37. The Thomson/First Call consensus target is $33.40. Shares closed Friday at $29.77.