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Alex Cho

Intel Earnings Review: $35 Price Target Reaffirmed at Credit Suisse

John Pfitzer reaffirmed his neutral rating on Intel shares, which is not surprising whatsoever given the decleratiing trends in MPUs in the desktop category, which may carry over into NoteBooks.

Pfitzer reitearted his cautious tone to clients in the past week, and reiterated his $35 price target on Intel:

Results did not meaningfully change our view from our 03/14 downgrade – INTC is well positioned longer term, but the stock is likely range bound between $34-$38 until at least 2H18 when evidence of sustainably improving FCF and OpM leverage materializes. Specifically, INTC reported C1Q Rev/EPS inline/modest beat and guided C2Q Rev/EPS inline/inline with CS albeit modestly better than Street. The Company also raised CY17 Rev/EPS modestly albeit with 2HCY17 bias based on more favorable pricing in CCG. In addition, INTC committed to lower OpEx to Rev from 34% in CY17 to 30% by at least CY20, a welcomed focus. We are raising our CY17 EPS to $2.85 from $2.80 and our CY18 EPS to $3.00 from $2.95.

Pfitzer kind of makes a reasonable point, but there’s no denying that results could deteriorate even further in its core consumer MPU portfolio in 2H’17. That being the case, there’s potential upside in operating margins going into 2H’17, but I wouldn’t be so naïve as to say that this pattern in profitability will continue especially if ASP trends worsen.

That being the case, I continue to reiterate my sell recommendation on Intel.

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