Intel’s post-earnings slump has market analysts questioning the company’s near-term prospects.
Intel reported Thursday weaker-than-expected third-quarter sales results, with the stock falling more than 10% on Friday to around $50 a share. The company blamed supply shortages for a slowdown in its PC business.
While some say Intel squandered a chance to prove itself, others see hope on the horizon.
Here’s what five market analysts told CNBC on Thursday following the report:
Hightower chief investment strategist Stephanie Link decided not to wait it out in the stock:
“This is one of the reasons why I sold it, because they’ve been very inconsistent and they’re lowering guidance. At least I can say at IBM, they didn’t lower guidance. So they’re lowering guidance. Probably a lot has to do with the shortages. But what’s the most important number to look for is the capex number. … Are they going to up that number as they build out their foundry business? The foundry business is going to take years to really complete, it’s just what they’re willing to spend to get to that point. I think it’s the right decision, but in the meantime, I think the earnings and revenues kind of tread water.”
Bernstein senior research analyst Stacy Rasgon wasn’t impressed by Intel’s results:
“This does not look like a good trend. The quarter itself was OK. Revenues were kind of in line. Margins were decent. But if you look under the surface, it’s not great. PCs collapsed, especially notebooks. They actually missed on data center, which is sort of incredible when we’re supposed to be sort of in the midst of a new product cycle. Data center margins are still lousy. The guide obviously was quite weak, especially on the bottom line, very low.”
Seymour Asset Management founder Tim Seymour said the negative sentiment could help jumpstart Intel’s turnaround:
“I think people think that Intel has so much still to prove — to invest in their foundry business, to be the global player in the strategic dynamic, on the equipment spend and ultimately where their interface is. It was going to be a two or three-year process. In that sense, you could say give them some time. But we want to hear about the capex spend. We want to hear about the commitment here to the foundry business that puts them in a position at some point to take the control of pricing for the sector away from Taiwan Semi, etcetera. But look, disappointing on the guide doesn’t really change where the stock sits and why it trades at the multiple it does, which is significantly cheaper to Taiwan Semi and other comparable players in the space and that’s because we’ve digested this story before. Data center group growing 10%? Not good enough. And really, two quarters ago, that was what knocked this stock out of bed.”
MarketRebellion.com co-founder Pete Najarian wanted to see if others in the industry felt the same pressures as Intel last quarter:
“The stock itself actually had had a pretty decent run until this huge pullback that we’re seeing now, but it is frustrating. … My frustration is very high when I’m looking at something like the conversation about constraints. We all understand that. We know we’re going to hear that. But it just feels so terrible because I’ve got a feeling as we hear others in the industry, I think we’re going to hear some different numbers. We’ll see, I guess, whether or not it’s Nvidia or AMD or whomever. But it is frustrating, Mel, because unfortunately, I thought this CEO really had a handle on things and was ready to press forward, and when I look at those data center numbers and when I look at the projected earnings numbers, it’s frustrating because they just aren’t there. And they’re not there yet. There’s still a lot of spending that has to go into this and that’s going to be taking a lot of the money that they get. And they’ve got great free cash flow, we know that. But the frustration level is getting high because this is a stock that continually goes one step forward, two steps back, and here we are once again back towards the low-50s.”
Private Advisor Group markets and investments advisor Guy Adami said Intel’s report wasn’t all bad:
“I think this is Intel-specific. You have other companies that are flourishing — AMD and Nvidia partnering up, a lot of really good things going on for a lot of other people. By the way, Texas Instruments, which I didn’t really understand on valuation $15 ago, continues to grind higher. So there are clearly some winners. This happens to be one of the losers. I get data center should be growing more than it is, but it wasn’t a complete disaster. And oh, by the way, if you look at some of these other names, client computing was fine. I mean, the revenues came in a beat. And oh, by the way, one other thing — operating margins were better than the Street was expecting at 28.5%, down year over year but still decent. They took this stock out to the woodshed on the back of this which to me is pretty surprising, but I think what people were saying was, ‘You know what? Intel’s got to prove themselves now and they haven’t been able to do it.'”
Disclosures: Tim Seymour, Pete Najarian and Guy Adami own shares of Intel.