Intel Disappointed for a Variety of Reasons

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Trader reaction to Intel's ( INTC) apparently good earnings were a bit of a curiosity, best summed up by a Zacks headline: "Investors Shrug Off Intel's Q1 Beat."

It's not often that an accomplished warhorse of a company like Intel (INTC) reports a beat that traders completely ignore.

Why did it happen? Well, that depends on who is doing the talking. The only thing nearly all the talkers have in common is that they give single, solitary reasons for this atypical occurrence.

Bloomberg, for example, said Intel dipped despite the apparent earnings beat because it reported the: "slowest sales growth in almost three years," a function of the contracting computer market.

CNBC zeroed-in on a perceived split between the near term, which looked good, and the more questionable long-term ability of the company to break into the burgeoning mobile and tablet business.

Marketwatch said that Intel fell after it projected disappointing second-quarter margins. TheStreet echoed that, sort of, saying the stock dropped because second-quarter margins were expected to fall on a sequential basis.

In life, contradictions are complicated. But stock prices are particularly complex animals. When they react in a peculiar fashion, there is -- as in this case -- more than one reason at play.

So who was right? All. And none. Intel was impacted by margin concern, long-term nerves about the viability of their computer-based business in a tablet world and disappointing revenues, from a historical (if not expectation) perspective. Tidy single reasons wrapped tightly with a bow don't go far enough to explaining such complicated contradictions. Traders turned their backs on Intel's beat for a myriad of reasons.

At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.

For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Fuchs appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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