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Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) 2Q: Is The Worst Over For Stock?

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Intel Corporation will come up with its 2Q results today, and Wall Street expect the numbers to be on the weaker side. Few of the short sellers are of the opinion that the worst might be over for the chip makers stock, which has been on a decline lately, says a report from Reuters. Year to date, Intel’s stock is down 18%.

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Will DCG save Intel again?

A weakness in the PC market has been a primary reason for the decline in the firms stock. Wall Street expect the chip maker to post its first year over year decline in the revenue since 2013, when it reports its results after market hours today.

FBR analyst Chris Rolland, who has an Outperform rating on the chip maker, notes that it could not get “worse than it is right now,” adding “As long as DCG (the data center group) hangs in there, I think the stock will probably go up from here.”

So far, Intel has been able to offset its weak PC performance with the help of its data center group, but there are chances that DCG group might itself struggle this time. Last week, QLogic guided for less than expected revenue in the June quarter owing to overall weakness in the server and storage markets. Following the news, the stock of the network infrastructure maker dipped 21%.

Mixed feelings ahead of earnings

SunGard’s Astec Analytics notes that the amount of borrowed Intel shares has gone down 21% since June 29, suggesting some of the short sellers are not confident that the stock will go down further. However, at the end of June, the number of shares shorted was the highest since mid-March. “Our number still suggests many short sellers are holding onto their positions,” the SunGard analyst told Reuters.

Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis lowered his outlook for Intel on Wednesday ahead of the earnings release. He dropped his price target on the firm from $45 to $35 and said that the weaker business in both serves and PCs made the firm look much worse heading into this afternoon’s numbers.

Mr. Lipacis added that “management changes coupled with press reports of product delays elevates the risk that mis-execution may limit its ability to monetize” it manufacturing lead. The firm removed Intel from its Franchise Pick List and gave a clearly cloudy outlook for its medium term future.

In contrast, the options market is cautious prior to the chip makers earnings, says the report. Open interest in the stock has outpaced the calls since June, and presently, for each call, 1.2 puts are available, which is the highest this year, says Reuters citing data from Trade Alert.

Intel  stock has been hurt by the AMD’s earnings last week, where the rival chip maker saw a more than expected decline owing to a weak PC market. Also, Seagate now expects its June quarter results to be weaker.

On Tuesday, Intel shares closed down 0.27% at $29.65, and in the last 12-months, the stock is down over 5%.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both marketing and Finance side. He has work as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, playing PC games and cricket.

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