The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and NVIDIA

An image of a person going over a financial report
Credit: Shutterstock photo

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - August 15, 2017 - announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Intel (NASDAQ: INTC- Free Report ), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT- Free Report ), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO- Free Report ), IBM (NYSE: IBM- Free Report ) and NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA- Free Report ).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

Here are highlights from Monday's Analyst Blog:

Should You Invest in Intel (INTC) Now?

Gone are the days when a single company could dominate any aspect of technology to the exclusion of all others. That was how the tech world started out, with Intel (NASDAQ: INTC- Free Report ) dominating chips, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT- Free Report ) operating systems, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO- Free Report ) networking, IBM (NYSE: IBM- Free Report ) computers, and so on.

Intel has enjoyed its dominance long enough, first in client devices and then in servers. And there's little reason to think that its position in these two markets will shrink materially, at least in the next few years. So even as growth in the client computing market remains elusive and its data center business remains impacted by transition issues at enterprises, Intel will still generate substantial cash flows.

We can rue over the company's missing out on the huge mobile opportunity, but let's also remember that the market doesn't offer good margins and isn't that compute intensive, which is Intel's core expertise. This is partly why Intel tried and failed to grab a toe-hold in the segment. So what's the next big growth engine for Intel that it simply can't afford to miss out on? And is the company devoting adequate resources to the area that will bear fruit in time for it to generate some growth for investors?

Enter Artificial Intelligence

We've been told from the start that graphic processing units (GPUs) are best suited in situations where parallel processing is required because that's what they do to help the machine understand images and video. So when computer models called deep neural networks (DNNs) are built replicating the logic patterns of human brains (to read input signals in sounds, pictures and text), GPUs prove very effective. Sequential processing isn't required until this information is properly categorized and a decision with respect to them is required, which is when Intel's processors enter the picture.

Does this mean that there's no scope for Intel technology in a segment of this emerging high-compute market? That may not be the case. Intel closed its $16.7 billion acquisition of field-programmable-gate-array (FPGA) maker Altera in Dec 2015 after working together for a while. It also picked up Nervana for $350 million, hoping that its Nervana Engine (to launch this year) will give it a leg up. The Nervana Engine trims down the general purpose GPU architecture to make it more efficient in handling deep-learning algorithms to deliver (hopefully) 10X as much compute power as the best GPUs today. These algorithms can imitate tasks by searching for and comparing with previously stored and labelled data.

The Intel mode of operation goes something like this: let the main processor pick up data signals and offload complexity to an integrated FPGA called accelerator, such that the main processor isn't over-burdened. This way, even if it doesn't exactly offer parallel processing, the Intel solution can handle complex data.

But why should somebody switch from the tried and tested GPU system that NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA- Free Report ) already offers to Intel's untried model, especially if it can't offer much superior performance? An Intel prototype isn't available yet for performance comparison with GPUs, but earlier this year, Intel did discuss some of its own findings.

To cut a long and very technical story short, DNN algorithms are evolving toward compact low precision data types (smaller data units) and sparsing (skipping computations involving only 0s), that greatly increase system efficiency but require irregular parallel processing. Intel believes that its solutions are better equipped to handle this irregularity than GPUs in their current state because FPGAs can be reconfigured.

Here are the numbers: Intel Stratix 10 FPGA is 10%, 50%, and 5.4x better in performance (TOP/sec) than Titan X Pascal GPU on GEMMs for sparse, Int6, and binarized DNNs, respectively. On Ternary-ResNet, the Stratix 10 FPGA can deliver 60% better performance over Titan X Pascal GPU, while being 2.3x better in performance/watt. So there's a chance that the Intel solution can be better, but we'll have to wait for a real product and independent testing and of course NVIDIA won't be sitting around waiting for Intel to grab its market.

Intel's Broader Product Range

While NVIDIA's model allows it to make more profit from its CUDA platform, Intel can offer a deep learning solution, complete with all the software, storage and compute components. It is also investing to build comprehensive solutions for self-driving (a huge opportunity), retail and other IoT, where artificial intelligence will be a necessary part. So Intel could end up with not only higher sales but also higher profits.

So How Big Is the Opportunity?

Mr. Sachin Garg, Associate Director at MarketsandMarkets, says that the global artificial intelligence chipset market should be worth $16.06 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 62.9% between 2016 and 2022.

Wrapping Up

Intel may have posted decent enough results this past quarter, a natural consequence of the stronger PC market, over which it has a strangle-hold. But it isn't an indication of what's coming. The future such as we know it today seems to be brightening for Intel, as it prepares for the AI revolution. And in spite of the growing competition from NVIDIA and others, it doesn't look like it will be locked out.

Intel shares carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

5 Trades Could Profit "Big-League" from Trump Policies

If the stocks above spark your interest, wait until you look into companies primed to make substantial gains from Washington's changing course.

Today Zacks reveals 5 tickers that could benefit from new trends like streamlined drug approvals, tariffs, lower taxes, higher interest rates and spending surges in defense and infrastructure.

See these buy recommendations now >>

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has nearly tripled the market from 1988 through 2015. Its average gain has been a stellar +26% per year. See these high-potential stocks free >>.

Get the full Report on INTC - FREE

Get the full Report on MSFT - FREE

Get the full Report on CSCO - FREE

Get the full Report on IBM - FREE

Get the full Report on NVDA - FREE

Follow us on Twitter:

Join us on Facebook:

Zacks Investment Research is under common control with affiliated entities (including a broker-dealer and an investment adviser), which may engage in transactions involving the foregoing securities for the clients of such affiliates.

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): Free Stock Analysis Report

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM): Free Stock Analysis Report

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report

Intel Corporation (INTC): Free Stock Analysis Report

NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on click here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story


Other Topics


Latest Markets Videos


    Zacks is the leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations. In 1978, our founder discovered the power of earnings estimate revisions to enable profitable investment decisions. Today, that discovery is still the heart of the Zacks Rank. A wealth of resources for individual investors is available at

    Learn More