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Intel Ready for a Breather, Analyst Says

Deutsche downgrades the stock to hold from buy, but leaves its price target at $22.

Updated from 7:57 a.m. EDT

Deutsche Bank Securities cut its rating on chip giant


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, citing the stock's valuation and saying there don't appear to be any additional near-term catalysts that could drive the shares higher.

The research firm cut its rating on Intel to hold from buy but left its price target unchanged at $22. The shares ended

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trading Thursday at $22.14. On Instinet Friday morning, the stock was down 20 cents to $21.94.

Also left unchanged were Deutsche's 2003 and 2004 earnings estimates on the semiconductor maker. The 19% rally in Intel's stock since May 22 was one of the driving factors behind the downgrade, the research firm said.

"In general we believe that current consensus

second-half 2003 forecasts for semiconductor companies, which imply 3% and 4% higher sequentials than the 20-year industry average, are more subject to downside risk than upside risk," Deutsche wrote in a research note. "Following a strong performance for semiconductor stocks over the past 4 months, we expect a period of retrenchment (or at least consolidation) through the slower summer months."

Additionally, Deutsche said, the stock has climbed 46% since its February low, adding $45 billion to its market capitalization.