Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Vivek Arya reportedly has suggested five reasons why savvy investors should snap up Intel Corp. stock.
Arya repeated his “buy” rating on Intel shares (INTC) while raising his target price to $70 from $65, Barron’s reported.
Here is Arya’s handful of reasons to buy Intel:
- Solid growth. “Intel in 2019 will for the second straight year post sales growth ahead of the core semiconductor market. For 2020, he models 4% sales growth, ahead of Street consensus estimates calling for 1.7% growth,” Barron’s said.
- Tighter management. The analyst thinks the relatively new Intel management team “is more open to exiting low-value activities,” Barron’s said.
- “Monster buyback.” The company has a $20 billion stock repurchase authorization, equal to 7% of market cap, and the largest in the company’s history.
- The AMD challenge is baked in. “The AMD competitive threat is real but we believe it will manifest at a more measured pace than believed by consensus,” Arya writes.
- “Compelling valuation.” Intel trades at 12.5 times forward estimates earnings, about a 32% discount to the broader semiconductor universe. He says the stock is underweighted by U.S. fund managers, and has a Buy rating from just 39% of sell-side analysts.
Intel stock (INTC) was higher early Wednesday at $56.57.
To be sure, Intel reportedly is looking to shake things up by seeking buyers for its connected home division, a unit that makes chips used in home internet access gear, people familiar with the matter recently told Bloomberg.
The chipmaker has hired a financial adviser and is seeking to sell the unit that has annual sales of about $450 million, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
A representative for the Santa Clara, California-based company declined to comment.
Intel Chief Executive Officer Bob Swan has said he’s looking at the company’s operations and will explore options for areas where it isn’t competitive. The company sold its smartphone modem business to Apple Inc. in a $1 billion deal in July. Swan has pointed to the money-losing memory business as an area where he might look for a partnership.
The connected home business makes semiconductors that provide wireless connections in home routers and gateways. It offers a range of chips that enable WiFi and manage data traffic for consumers. Competitors include Broadcom Inc. and Qualcomm Inc.
Throughout its history, Intel has created units that push new enabling technologies as a way to further its central processor unit business.
The connected home initiative is part of an attempt to make sure Intel’s computing chips find their way into the increasing number of smart gadgets being used in households. In its most recent quarter Intel’s Internet of Things group had sales of $1 billion, a gain of 9% from the same period a year earlier.
This report uses material from the AP, Bloomberg and Reuters.
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