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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Intel (INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report announced today that it will invest as much as $5.5 billion to convert its fabrication plant in Dalian, China to produce memory chips.

The facility will help Intel expand its ability to manufacture non-volatile memory, according to a statement. Non-volatile memory chips retain data even after a device is powered off, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Until now, Intel had relied on a partnership with Micron (MU) to produce a type of nonvolatile memory called flash memory chips, the Journaladds. 

The Dalian plant should begin production of a new version of flash memory chips during the first half of 2016, according to a statement. The new version, called 3D NAND chips, replaces one layer of cells for data storage with multiple layers to increase storage capacity, the Journal reports.

Intel will make the investment "over the coming years," according to a statement. 

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Based in Santa Clara, CA, Intel is engaged in the design and manufacture of digital technology platforms.

Shares of the company closed down by 0.45% to 33.44 on Tuesday. 

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates INTEL CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

We rate INTEL CORP (INTC) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.37, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. To add to this, INTC has a quick ratio of 1.65, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, INTEL CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that INTC's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for INTEL CORP is currently very high, coming in at 78.24%. Regardless of INTC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 21.49% trails the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: INTC