The 2016 Bullish and Bearish Case for Intel

Now that 2015 has ended, strategists and analysts on Wall Street have been making their forecasts and predictions for 2016. The harsh selling of the first week may confuse some investors, but it is important to remember that a week is 1/52 of a year.

It seems the bull market was interrupted in 2015, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed out the year down 2.2% to 17,425.03.

While the index performance of the Dow does not account for individual stock dividends, Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) ended 2015 at $34.45, for a loss of 2.21%, including its dividend adjustments. It should be noted that 2014 was an incredible year for Intel, so 2015 may have been a readjustment year.

That $34.45 close of 2015 is one thing, but the close after just four days of trading in 2016 was down at $31.84. That may not be the case for a bear market, but this is still a sell-off of more than 7.5% in Intel’s stock price.

For the year ahead, the consensus analyst price target from Thomson Reuters was $36.16 at the end of the year. If the analysts are correct, the expected total return from the 2015 closing price would be 7.75%, if you include its dividend yield of 2.8%. From a price of $31.84, that implied upside from the views just a week earlier would be over 15%.

It seems likely that the bar was being lowered due to slowing spending and technology trends for 2016. Apple is reportedly shrinking its orders for 2016, and Apple chip suppliers have warned of lower business ahead.

Intel is without question the king of the CPU market when it comes to personal computers (PCs). It dominates so much here against Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) that some wonder if AMD should even try to keep up with Intel. But the PC market sounds so 1999 now. Intel just acquired Altera Corp. (NASDAQ: ALTR) in a massive acquisition, and this is expected to add $2 billion to Intel’s annual sales base of more than $50 billion.

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