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Alex Cho

Intel Earnings Review: $45 Price Target Reaffirmed at Barclays

Blayne Curtis at Barclays Maintained his Neutral rating on Intel shares, and $45 price target. Now, obviously I don’t necessarily agree with his optimism, but it’s worth observing his argument anyway.

Here were the key highlights from his research report following Intel’s disastrous quarter:

Intel reported slightly better results and guidance and raised CY17 revenue (+$500M) and EPS (+$0.05) on better trends in PC and non-computer revenue. In an important inflection, INTC also committed to reducing OpEx as a percentage of revenue by 200bps this year and to hit 30% by 2020 (vs. ~35% in CY16). Intel is clearly out of favor with investors for a variety of reasons, and though we didn’t get solution to every issue, we saw progress on a number of fronts. The PC market is clearly better than in recent years, non-CPU products are showing good growth, and INTC is finally beginning to show some OpEx discipline. Bears will point to the slight miss in DCG and sustained capital intensity (expect elevated memory spend persists for one more year even though losses continue), but we note that the company maintained FY guidance for DCG and investment in memory should pay significant dividends in coming years vs. what is modeled. Net net, it likely takes some time for skeptical investors to come around, but INTC remains our Top Pick given attractive valuation and room to upside expectations into 2H17 versus a rich semiconductor universe.

While Blayne makes some noteworthy points, but there were some troubling deceleration indicators for the core MPU segment in desktops, which dragged share prices lower.

Blayne went onto revise his estimates on sales and earnings:

Our CY’17 revenue/EPS move to $60.10B/$2.88 (prior $58.82B/$2.81), and CY18 moves to $61.72B/$3.02 (prior $61.29B/$2.94). Our price target of $45 is based upon 15x our CY18 GAAP EPS of $3.01. Our prior basis was 15x our old CY18 GAAP EPS of $2.92.

The revised estimate suggests more optimism going into Intel’s backhalf. Hence, there’s a key divergence in sell-side expectations versus buy-side following Intel’s quarter.

Personally, I think investors should just flat out avoid Intel for the next two or three years.

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