Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) Earnings Preview – Analysts Optimistic

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Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is expected to report first quarter earnings after the close on Tuesday, April 15, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Intel, a global semiconductor manufacturer, is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 37c on revenue of $12.81B. The consensus range is 34c-43c for EPS on revenue of $12.7B-$13.0B, according to First Call. Along with its last report, Intel said it expects Q1 revenue of $12.8B plus or minus $500M. The company guided toward a Q1 gross margin percentage of 59%, plus or minus “a couple percentage points.”

Intel reported Q4 EPS of 51c, compared to consensus expectations at that time of 52c. The company’s revenue of $13.8B was ahead of the consensus forecast of $13.72B. For the quarter, the company’s gross margin came in at 62%. On its earnings conference call, Intel said it had overestimated the rate of recovery among corporate buyers and also noted that its desktop business was up 11% in Q4.

On January 17, the day after Intel’s Q4 report, an Intel spokesperson confirmed that the chip maker will be cutting 5% of its workforce this year. Also during the quarter, the tech giant finalized an agreement with Verizon in which the communication company bought Intel Media, a business division dedicated to the development of Cloud TV products and services, for an undisclosed amount. Variety reported, citing two sources, that Verizon would pay “about $200M” to acquire Intel Media.

At least three research firms have released positive notes about Intel over the last two weeks. On April 2, Piper Jaffray upgraded Intel to Overweight from Neutral after analyst Ruben Roy assumed coverage of the stock. Sales of PCs should continue to be stable in 2014, continuing a trend that began in the latter part of 2013, Roy forecast. This year, the company is planning to sacrifice revenue in order to increase its market share in the tablet space, but over the longer term Intel’s market share gains in the tablet market should boost its revenue, according to Roy.

Additionally, sales of the company’s data center products should rise throughout 2014, the analyst wrote. Roy set a $30 price target on the shares, while the firm previously had a $23 price target. On April 7, Pacific Crest upgraded its rating on Intel shares to Outperform with a $31 price target, citing improving corporate PC demand and expectations that the company’s Grantley server platform will fuel spending at traditional IT customers in 2015. On April 11, Jefferies said its a buyer of Intel shares ahead of earnings, as it feels that Intel’s margins are bottoming. Jefferies has a Buy rating on Intel with a $32 price target.

Over the last three months, shares of Intel are down fractionally. In afternoon trading ahead of tonight’s report, Intel rose 5c to $26.60.

Analysts have a consensus price target of $25.80 on Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) which indicates a 2.6% downside. The consensus rating of the stock is a HOLD with a score of 2.41. There are currently 15 Hold Ratings, 17 Buy ratings 1 Strong Buy rating and 4 Sell ratings on the stock.

The most recent analyst action consisted of Pacific Crests upgrading the stock from sector perform to Outperform, providing a price target of $31.

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