The shares of down-and-out semiconductor manufacturer Intel Corp. (INTC) are worth a look these days, with the caveat that it may take some time to realize significant profits on the trade, suggests Joe Duarte, editor of In the Money Options.
Intel is washed up. It’s got nothing going for it. Why would anyone want to own it? When analysts that kept "Buy" ratings on this company as the shares tanked over the last couple of years are now jumping over each other issuing "Sell" recommendations, it’s a good sign.
That’s known as capitulation and it usually means that a long-term bottom may have been established. It’s music to my contrarian ears. When nobody wants a stock, it’s usually time to buy.
Certainly, management has made a mess of things for a while now, having relied on past glories tied to PC chips for too long while the world was moving on to electric vehicles, servers, data centers and mobile and networking infrastructure — while others who saw these trends earlier have made the most of it.
To be fair, Intel did make some moves toward those segments. But as the share price and their results over the recent past show, they weren’t very successful. But where there’s doom and gloom this thick, there is usually opportunity.
One of the things I like in a company that has made mistakes, is when it admits them and starts to right the ship. And Intel’s spinoff of its Mobileye (MBLY) division recently for $17 billion is a step in the right direction.
Mobileye was supposed to put Intel in a great position to enter the electric vehicle market. The company paid around $15 billion for what was a prized possession at the time. Unfortunately, it was a bad bet for Intel and they were lucky to spin a portion of MBLY off for $17 billion.
Intel still has a significant position in Mobileye, but the fact that they got their money back and then some with a partial sale of the EV tech company is a sign that management is starting to wake up and that the ship is turning around.
Meanwhile, Intel is starting to move back toward its core strength, making semiconductor chips, with a portion of its business moving toward becoming a contract manufacturer for other chip makers. That’s smart as it will increase cash flow. It’s also moving operations back to the U.S. with new factories in Ohio and Arizona.
Moreover, even though its earnings and revenues are reduced from years past, Intel managed to beat its expectations in the last quarter with $0.59 per share earnings vs. $0.32 expected, while revenues also beat expectations with $15.34 billion in the bank vs. $15.25 expected.
I have no illusions about a quick turnaround, but the company’s $10 billion, three-year cost reduction plan, along with a diversification of is product line and its new factories in the U.S. is likely to eventually help the bottom line.
Expect some layoffs and a slow and steady withdrawal from China, where the company overweighed its focus for too long. Finally, the nearly 5% dividend yield, which is still better than most money market funds, will help with being patient.