Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC ) has fared well. I predicted in a previous article that the security issues posed no long-term threat to Intel stock. It's turning out that even the short-term danger was limited.
Since the company revealed the virus after the new year, the stock has already recovered from the short-term downward move in the stock price. With the "meltdown" in Intel stock averted, the company can now shift its focus to a second renaissance that is driven by new tech.
'New Intel' Drives Intel Stock
To be sure, Intel stock lost its way for many years as the popularity of PCs gave way to tablets and smartphones. Moreover, regarding new tech, competition from the likes of Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM ) and even archrival Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD ) hurt the company. It had fallen behind to the point that a once-unthinkable partnership with AMD resulted.
Even now, its client computing segment remains the largest division in the company. Of the $62.8 billion earned in revenue in 2017, client computing still makes up $34 billion. Despite the decreasing popularity of PCs, Intel grew this segment by 3%.
However, a "new Intel," meaning one that can succeed beyond the PC market, now drives Intel stock price growth. As the likes of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN ) and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL , NASDAQ: GOOG ) have to maintain an ever-growing collection of data, Intel made itself a player in this growing tech sector. At $19.1 billion, data centers continue catching up to PCs regarding revenue. In 2017, the Data Center Group revenue grew by 11%. The Data Center Group remains on track to become Intel's largest revenue driver in a few years.
Smaller segments show even faster growth. The Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group, at $3.5 billion in revenue, grew by 37%. The Internet of Things (IoT) Group brought in 20% to reach $3.2 billion in revenue. The Programmable Solutions Group, at $1.9 billion, grew 14%.
Intel Stock Remains a Buy
This growth has taken its price-to-earnings (PE) ratio to the highest levels seen in years. The current PE stands at 24. An earnings growth spurt will take the forward PE to around 13.5. Still, the stock remains reasonably priced, especially since earnings growth should stay above 10% until at least 2020.
The company also made a splash at the recent Winter Olympics. Intel's drones flew above the sky and lit up the sky in the shape of the Olympic symbol. It also impressed consumers with the ability to stream events in virtual reality (VR).
However, the company is also making moves that will impress investors. Qualcomm has been hurt recently amid speculation that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL ) may look for a new chip supplier . Intel, which has long provided the chips that power MacBook computers, remains the likely choice as the chip provider for the next version of the iPhone. Such a move will bring investors an even brighter INTC renaissance.
Still, I think what investors should find most comforting is Intel's ability to remake itself. Like International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE :IBM ) and Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ: TXN ) before it, Intel has survived the move away from its original core product and redefined itself as a leader in new tech. Like its PC partner Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT ), INTC has built a culture of innovation that will survive both its current management team and the segments that lead today's innovation. As a result, the company now finds success in an area separate from its original product line, and it will find success in future niches that do not yet exist. Now with the company re-emerging, Intel will again become synonymous with tech leadership like it was at the height of the PC industry.
Final Thoughts on Intel Stock
With the virus revelations becoming old news, Intel stock investors can again profit from the company's second renaissance. The company fell behind with the reliance on PCs. However, a renewed focus on new tech has revitalized this venerable company. It showcased its VR and drone capabilities at the Olympics. Also, its move into data will likely lead to its Data Center segment becoming INTC's largest revenue driver within a few years. A possible move into the iPhone would only bolster the gains made in data centers, IoT, and non-volatile memory solutions.
Most importantly, this second renaissance indicates that Intel has the culture of innovation that will drive INTC in decades to come. Given this reality, people should think of Intel stock with the same respect that previous generations granted to the likes of IBM and Texas Instruments.
As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks.
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