Intel Upgraded as PCs 'Not Going Away Anytime Soon'

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." -- Mark Twain

While the great author may have once said those words, they're also certainly applicable towards the PC industry. As such, the drop in Intel's ( INTC) share price may be unwarranted, noted Piper Jaffray analyst Gus Richard, who upgraded shares to "neutral" with a $22 price target.

The chip industry is now solidly in the post-PC era, but "PCs are not going away anytime soon," Richard wrote in his note. He said he expects there to be a modest refresh in the corporate PC buying cycle in April 2014, as the release of Windows 8.1 happens in the fourth quarter.

Aside from the refresh cycle, Intel is firmly getting into tablet processors, with the second half launch of Bay Trail processors. While low-end tablets will continue to replace low-end notebooks, they're not going to replace corporate machines, especially the higher-end ones, anytime soon, Richard said in a report. As such, he raised his fiscal 2014 estimates slightly, and said he expects revenue to rise in the mid-single digits after seeing two straight years of decline.

Intel announced Bay Trail as part of the Silvermont family earlier this year.

Bay Trail is expected to see a huge amount of support, as tablets continue to be more prevalent not only for consumption needs but for computing needs as well. That could be a huge opportunity for Intel, something it really hasn't had in the past.

"While some cannibalization of low-end consumer notebooks is likely to occur, we believe Bay Trail will be accretive overall to revenue and could drive ~$500M to $1B to the top line," Richard penned in his note. "Intel is aggressively promoting Bay Trail and we think this platform will finally drive market share for the company in tablets."

Citing the valuation, and Intel's 4.1% dividend yield as catalysts, there are additional catalysts ahead for Intel which could move the stock higher. The company is holding its Intel Developer Forum, which TheStreet will be attending, in mid-September. The company is expected to highlight its mobile chip offerings, particularly Bay Trail at the event.

The other catalyst is the company's upcoming analyst day, Nov. 21, which will be the first time new CEO Brian Krzanich has a "chance to unveil his vision for the company," Richard wrote.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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