We are downgrading Intel Corporation
(INTC) shares from Neutral to Underperform following the company's lowered expectations for the next quarter. We think that weakness in mature markets, economic headwinds in some emerging markets and pressure from tablets and other competitors are taking a toll on the company.
We think current trends overshadow Intel's $0.04 positive surprise versus the Zacks Consensus in the second quarter that was driven by strength in server and software businesses and supported by a moderate PC business. However, we remain positive about Intel's dominance in the high-margin server segment and promise of success in the mobile segment, although competition from ARM-based devices continues to intensify.
We believe that Ultrabooks and Win-8 are wild cards this holiday season and could skew results either way. We are also lowering our target price to $20.00, which is 9.4X our earnings expectations for 2012.