What to Watch When Intel Reports After the Close

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) is scheduled to release its fourth-quarter financial results after the markets close on Thursday. The consensus estimates are calling for $1.25 in earnings per share (EPS) and $19.23 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, the chip giant said it had $1.28 in EPS and $18.66 billion in revenue.

Earlier in December, Merrill Lynch named Intel as one of its top preliminary picks for 2020. The firm gave five key reasons that it was going to be the top-performing major tech stock of 2020. One of those included having more upside than even AMD, but there were even more reasons cited for upside. Intel’s price objective was raised to $70 in the call, and that implied upside of over 24% (before the dividend).

The brokerage firm noted that Intel has a healthy free cash flow, dividend yield and a high-ranked ESG (environmental, social and governance) score. Intel is also underweight by large-cap active funds.

Excluding Thursday’s move, Intel stock had outperformed the broad markets with a gain of about 30% in the past 52 weeks. In the past quarter, the shares were up 20%.

Here’s what analysts had to say about Intel ahead of the report:

  • Susquehanna has a Buy rating.
  • Cascend Securities has a Buy rating and a $75 price target.
  • Cowen rates it as Market Perform with a $55 price target.
  • Jefferies has a Hold rating with a $64 target price.
  • Citigroup’s Neutral rating comes with a $60 price target.
  • Morgan Stanley has an Overweight rating and a $66 target.

Shares of Intel were trading about 1% to $63.33 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $42.86 to $63.53. The consensus price target is $58.28.