If you purchased Intel (INTC) as recommended on September 30, 2011 at a price of $21.34, you made the right call, as the stock has broken out of a four-month $19-23 range pattern to trade at about $23.50.
However, if you missed the September buy view, don't fret: there's more upside ahead with Intel.
Can Your Count on Intel?
Further, the shenanigans and gridlock may continue, but there's one thing you can count on -- some corporations will be standout performers, regardless of the state of things in Washington, D.C., and semiconductor / microprocessor gem Intel Corporation (INTC) is one.
Sprint (S), as speculated, secured the rights to the iPhone 4s earlier this month, and to say the move became a game changer in tech and media sectors circles would be an understatement. The buzz about theiPhone 4s has been the most since perhaps Microsoft's (MSFT) hey-day and its much-anticipated launches of new operating systems.
With the above as a backdrop, a compelling question for investors is: will Intel (INTC), like Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), benefit from a ripple-effect from the iPhone 4s Wave? It should, hence it's a smart move to consider Intel's stock, if you can tolerate moderate risk, and I'm Reiterating my Buy call.
Will INTC Benefit from iPhone 4s Wave?
What's more, the iPhone 4s is matching its hype in terms of sales, and the new device is sparking an iPhone 4s Wave, in the cell phone service provider and tech sectors -- in other words, a renaissance -- one that attracts new minds (translation: subscribers) that previously had not considered the iPhone 4s or even a smartphone, and/or other tech devices.
And that's good news, not only for iPhone 4s newbie Sprint, but also for semiconductor maker Intel -- the world largest manufacturer of the digital processors that go into just about every gadget, device, and appliance these days.
Intel remains well-positioned to benefit from an increase in corporate and residential information technology spending, with aging computers, Microsoft Windows 7, and bandwidth-consuming applications for PCs providing a tailwind for microprocessor demand. Laptop-related sales should also impress.
INTC's shares traded Tuesday at mid-day down 10 cents to $23.47.
Intel: Semiconductor Star
Also, Intel's new 32-nanometer and 22-nanometer chips should once again outperform the field, regarding an improved chip to meet the multi-media, multi-thread, simultaneous-application demands of today's office environment.
Look for Intel's FY2012 revenue to rise about 5-7 percent, after a likely 22-25 percent surge in 2011, including revenue from a purchased wireless and security business.
A strong balance sheet, a superior distribution network, a pervasive global presence, and one of the most respected brands in the world, add to INTC's positive story. Intel remains the strongest company in the microprocessor sector.
There is some concern that Intel has been slow to capture market share in the portable sector, but for now desktop PC and server demand will more than suffice.
Operating margins should come it at 33 percent in 2011 and 32 percent in 2012, with only slightly higher compensation expenses, and more employees in 2012.
A decent annual dividend of 84 cents -- good for a 3.46% dividend at the roughly $23.50 share price -- provides an exclamation point: an opportunity for decent growth, with a dividend. That's about as good as it gets in today's challenging investment environment.
Look for Intel's 2011 revenue to surge 25 percent to about $53.6 billion, followed by a 5-6 percent gain to $56.8 billion in 2011.
Further, with a P/E of 11, Intel is affordable, assuming the U.S. and global economic expansions does not prematurely end in 2012: they won't .
The Thomson Reuters First Call FY2011/FY2012 EPS estimates for INTC are $2.44 and $2.55. Each EPS estimate looks about 10 percent low, according to my analysis.
Technical Analysis: As noted, technically, Intel's shares finally broke out of four-month range, and the move north to above $23 per share is encouraging.
Earlier in 2011, Intel twice tested $19 support but failed to drop below, and that represents good support. When a stock falls through key psychological support at $20 twice, only to drop a little more, then hold, the stock pattern is telling you something: institutional investors are scooping up what they consider to be a bargain -- they're saying Intel will drop no more, that's the stock's minimum value, based on its fundamentals. And the move above $23 - Intel in fact test $25 twice - confirms the bottom at $19. There is the danger of a short-term double-top at $25, the calculation here is that the uptrend is stronger and should prevail.
Intel should now vector to about $26 by the end of 2011, and to at least $32-33 by the end of 2012; a $35 price by the end of 2012 is not out of the question.
Stock Category: Intel is ideal for investors who want a growth stock with plenty of upside potential. However, investors need to in mind that INTC is a moderate-risk stock not suitable for low-risk investors. Also, there's a 10 percent chance you'll lose your entire investment with INTC over a 10-year period.
2011 Outlook: I view Intel as a long-term play, but if you're looking to sell INTC within the year, it's probably best to take your profits after it rises to $27-29, if it fails to rise above $30.
Stock Analysis: Intel is a moderate-risk stock. If an investor has already purchased the company's shares, I'd hold them. If not, I'd consider buying a 50 percent position in INTC now and another 25 percent in two months, if the U.S. and global economis do not worsen substantially. Under any circumstance, I wouldn't buy more than 75 percent of my INTC position before January 2012, and I'd put a sell/stop loss at: $12.50.
Disclosure: L.C. Jacobs of New York, N.Y. reviews stocks on a quarterly, semi-annual, and annual basis.
L.C. Jacobs has no positions in stocks reviewed, but does own federal, municipal, and corporate bonds.
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