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INTC) is the 800-pound gorilla in the semiconductor business. The firm owns around 80% of the microprocessor market, giving it a major edge over smaller rivals like
Advanced Micro Devices (
AMD). Since Intel is inside more new PCs rolling off assembly lines today, it's able to incentivize developers to make the most out of its chip architecture. That, in turn, creates a positive feedback loop that secures Intel's moat.
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The downside to Intel's dominant share of the market is growth. When you own 80% of a market, grabbing that remaining 20% becomes a battle of diminishing returns. Instead, Intel is targeting new markets like mobile with its Atom chips. It's also leveraging its $17 billion cash position to invest in R&D, a fact that's helped make Intel one of the few firms in the PC food chain that still earns double-digit net profit margins.
Another big use of cash for Intel in recent years has been dividends. With a 3.9% dividend yield at current price levels, Intel is consistently one of the highest-yielding names in the technology sector. With rising analyst sentiment in shares this week, we're betting on shares.