Perhaps that's INTC shares moved 1.36% lower on lower than average volume. Closing at $21.38 lifted INTC's yield-to-price to an amazing 4.2%. Those who follow INTC know management has been committed to keeping the dividend yield at high levels. The conundrum the company faces is that over the past 10 years the dividend has grown close to a 30%-per-year clip. That slowed way down last year, but at the current 90 cents per year payout this has pushed the payout ratio to around 41% of net income. Analysts are expecting, on average, a 22.6% decrease in INTC earnings-per-share (EPS) to around 41 cents. Without an announced increase in the dividend payout it will stretch the payout ratio closer to 50% or higher. Sales growth and revenue for the first quarter of 2013 is also expected to be down an average of around 2.3%. A closer look at the one-year chart below reveals how the price-per-share is impacted by both the diluted quarterly year-over-year EPS and the trailing 12-month quarterly per-share revenue numbers. INTC data by YCharts
Will the current CEO Paul Otellini announce his successor during the earnings report and call? If he does, and if that choice speaks to Intel's determination to carry on with its commitment to become a dominant player as a microprocessor provider for smart phones and tablets, the stock may stabilize. In what appears to be a long overdue correction in the stock market, one of the best ways for companies like Intel to put a floor under its stock price is to maintain its generous dividend policy and deliver some upbeat guidance for the rest of 2013. If it stumbles on either the results may be as ugly as gold's current debacle. Hope for the best and prepare for the possibility of a disappointment. At the time of publication the author had was long INTC and MSFT and has sold a LEAP put option on ETN. Follow @m8a2r1 This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage. Make smarter trading decisions and provide investment ideas that could help make you richer. Bryan Ashenberg does the dirty work so you don't have to!