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TheStreet Open House

Are these chipmaker stocks breakouts or poised for a breakdown?

By Chris Lau for Kapitall.

Intel ( INTC) is a largely ignored but widely held blue chip chipmaker. Some market participants are surprised that Intel is at a yearly high. Intel closed at $28.17 on June 6, despite bears lamenting the decline of the PC market. Intel’s new high is no accident. Interest in companies reliant on the demand for PCs is improving. Tablet sales are set to slow. This gives PCs builders a chance to win business from consumers looking to upgrade. The time is ripe for Intel to keep breaking out towards new highs.

Windows 8.1 and 9

Microsoft ( MSFT) continued to rollout updates to its flagship operating system, Windows 8. The lack of a ‘Start’ button is turning off consumers, but Microsoft is still improving the performance of Windows. By 2015, Windows 9 will be more useable for the desktop, but Microsoft will be in a good position to grow sales of tablets that use Windows. This will only benefit Intel in the long run.

Emerging market demand

IDC, along with PC builders, expect demand in emerging markets will fall in Q1. Yet in the developed world, Intel might boost profitability as it once again refreshes its processors. If tablets choose Intel as their processor, this, too, will help boost revenue.

Alternative: AMD

Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD) is often cited as the underdog of the PC market, but this is untrue. The chip maker is lowering its exposure to the PC market. In effect, it is preparing for the slow growth, post-PC market. AMD is positioning itself to grow revenue in the console and semicustom markets. By the end of 2015, PCs will only account for 50% of revenue.

Why Intel is attractive

Intel has an edge over AMD shares. It also rewards investors with a dividend that yields 3.37%. Investors should expect AMD’s prospects to improve incrementally, but with execution risks that are higher than that of Intel. Intel’s growth will not exceed expectations, but its share price will improve steadily. The chip giant is attractive for income investors and for those looking for low volatility. Now that Intel is at a yearly high, it is in a good position to breakout from there.

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