According to many, the company is no longer considered sexy and is perceived, in some circles, as unfit a tech company, giving way to rivals
and, to some extent,
It seems the highly anticipated death of the personal computer, an industry where Intel still has 80% market share, has provided the incentive for some investors to launch what I consider a preemptive strike against the company.
It's as if they want to say, "How dare you pretend to still be relevant." Except Intel is not pretending and the company is as much viable today as it has ever been. Investors need to only look in the right places.
Granted, I've become something of an apologist for the company, even though I don't own the stock. But Intel has all the makings of a successful turnaround story, one that earned $2.83 billion in its most recent quarter and beating analysts' estimates while meeting its revenue goals.
However, as it stands the prevailing debate centers on Intel's valuation. The concern for investors continues to be, what is impressive about a company that owns 80% of a dying market such as PCs. But is it?
I ask because I see from the company's earnings report that not only did Intel log sequential revenue growth of 5% but its PC revenue rose a respectable 4%. Granted, this is not the robust growth the company experienced in the 1990s as it rode the coattails of
, but it does suggest some signs of life.
I am not at all suggesting the company is free and clear from any struggles. There are yet many to consider. But equally hidden are the many positives.
It is broadly understood that Intel underestimated the transition to smartphones and tablets to the extent that
have contributed immensely to growth of Qualcomm, ARM Holdings as well as Texas Instruments. I get that.
What I don't get is the idea that it is now too late for Intel to enter the mix. However, investors who take advantage of this lack of respect of a good company in a forward-looking market is what typically turns portfolios into winners.
Be that as it may, the company does not appear bothered by the obvious lack of respect. To that end, Intel has been reinvesting heavily in its business as well as in R&D core capabilities such as security as well as extending its process technology leadership. The latter initiative is one of the areas into which intelligent investors should start looking in order to fully appreciate the company's prospects, not only for the rest of this year but also well into the future.
From my calculations, these initiatives will undoubtedly place Intel at a significant advantage to the extent it will be able to leverage its current core of products and services beyond what its traditional areas into consumers can only imagine. What's more, it has not ceded victory to anyone in terms of the mobile devices market.
In its drive to compete, Intel is in the process of launching its own phone and tablet chips. Not only that, but it is also anticipating much success in the launch of
new line of PCs called the Ultra Books -- aimed to steal some market share out of Apple's popular MacBook line which will be based on Intel's Ivy Bridge chips -- considered to be one of the most powerful it has ever produced.
As much as there is cause for optimism with Intel, the company's recovery will be no cakewalk. Qualcomm, ARM,
and even a name such as
, which recently reported stellar earnings, are going to make certain that Intel understands the 1990s are over.
What is not over is Intel's stellar management team, one that has made it abundantly clear that the company intends on maintaining its dominance among the chips.
To that end, Intel has begun to lay down the foundation for its long-term success. That, along with stellar track record in terms of R&D, exceptional cash flow as well as top of the line manufacturing capabilities, should suggest to intelligent investors looking for value at a considerable discount that Intel should be on a short list of considerations.
With a price-earnings ratio of 11 and trading at $26, there is yet considerable upside potential by at least 15% towards my fair market value of $30.
At the time of publication, the author held was long AAPL and no position in any of the other stocks mentioned
This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Richard Saintvilus is a private investor with an information technology and engineering background and has been investing and trading for over 15 years. He employs conservative strategies in assessing equities and appraising value while minimizing downside risk. His decisions are based in part on management, growth prospects, return on equity and price-to-earnings as well as macroeconomic factors. He is an investor who seeks opportunities whether on the long or short side and believes in changing positions as information changes.