Don't count on Intel missing the second act of this show or giving up in the mobile space. They have everything they need to take on Nvidia in both central processing and graphics processing. That's my case for Intel remaining attractive; here are ways to time the upcoming earnings.
The easiest way is to wait. Boring yes I know, but if you're not comfortable running across a busy street, don't force it. The mark of a true pro is the ability to do nothing when everyone else can't wait.
If you're ready to buy, you might as well let options work in your favor. Intel options typically rise immediately before earnings. The February $22 strike put options will probably sell for about 85 cents above intrinsic value based on a share price of $22.
If you sell the puts and Intel falls after the earnings release, you still make money as long as the options expire with Intel trading above $21.15 a share. You will have a choice to keep the shares with an effective cost basis of $21.15 or sell them. It's a great way to get a discount if you're going to buy shares either way.
If Intel's shares increase after the earnings, this is still a winning trade relative to buying the stock all the way up to $22.86 or more. Above $22.85 you begin to lose possible capital gains, but you still make almost 4% in about one month (or less).
The most important reason to use options in my opinion is they allow you to lower your risk. Selling a $22 strike put lowers the amount an investor can lose to $21.15. Managing risk is the key to long-term profits.
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At the time of publication, the author was long INTC.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.