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No Buffett? No Problem for Intel

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Instant credibility is what is earned by any company when arguably the best investor in the world, Warren Buffett, owns the stock. In fact, it's one of the highest endorsements any publicly traded company can get.

Then what does it say when Buffett dumps the stock? This is what investors of chip giant Intel (INTC) are left to assess upon learning Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), has dropped all its 7.7 million shares of the semiconductor company.

It is not unusual for Buffett to reshuffle his portfolio from time to time. For that matter, aside from Intel, it is worth noting he also sold off a significant chunk of his stake in Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

Be that as it may, since he is known to move markets, let's take a look at what is going on in Intel and draw our own conclusions.

First, here's the obvious: Intel is no longer growing as it did in the mid-to-late 1990s when, along with software giant Microsoft (MSFT), it rode the personal computer industry to levels unimaginable. Today, that same industry is in a slow decline and giving way to the rise of the smartphone and mobile devices market.

The result of this trend has rendered Intel to the realm of the obscure while raising the profile of its rivals Qualcomm (QCOM) and ARM Holdings (ARMH). But does that mean Intel lacks value and is no longer able to compete? Its recent quarter would suggest otherwise.

The company generated net income of $2.83 billion, or 54 cents per share, on revenue of $13.5 billion, topping analysts' EPS expectations while meeting its sales forecasts. What I found to be interesting was that the company said that shipments were 87.5 million units for the quarter, representing (only) a 0.1% decline from the previous year.

Also remarkable was the company's sequential revenue growth, which was 5%, while its PC revenue rose at a respectable 4%.

So with Intel owning 80% of the world's PC business in terms of chip usage, this leads me to wonder if the imminent "death of the PC" has not been grossly exaggerated.

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