Sell-Side Reaction to Intel's Developers Forum

 |  Includes: AMD, INTC
by: Eric Savitz

There were a flurry of research notes today on Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), following the first day of the Intel Developers Forum in San Francisco. The biggest news was the company’s unveiling of “quad core” processors for servers and desktops, which are supposed to ship in mid-November. John Lau, an analyst at Jefferies & Co. liked what he saw; in fact, he raised his price target on the stock to $24, from $22.

“We are getting increasingly convinced that the company has turned around and should begin to regain market share on back of its new products, superior roadmap and manufacturing capabilities,” Lau wrote in a research note. “Finally, Intel now has in place all the ingredients that should enable the company to show demonstrable share gains in 2007 and beyond.”

He says the new quad core chips are “at least six months ahead of AMD…a sign that Intel is aggressively responding to AMD’s lead in multi-core architectures.”

On another front, Lau notes that Intel indicated it will have three fabs operating at 45 nm in early 2008. “We believe that Intel’s targeted ramp is very aggressive and demonstrates [the] company’s intent of beating AMD using its manufacturing process,” he writes.

Christopher Danely, at J.P. Morgan
, has a more sober view of yesterday’s developments. “We are positive on the quad-core announcements as the launch dates for mainstream desktop are sooner than our expectation and should improve Intel’s competitive position versus AMD due to higher performance,” he wrote this morning in a research note. “However, we are concerned as the cost per unit doubles versus current high-end products until Intel ramps its 45 nanometer technology at the end of [calendar 2007], which could depress gross margins.”

He also continues to have concerns about market share. “While our checks suggest Intel is gaining share in the channel, we would note that our recent PC study suggests AMD is gaining share with OEMs, which should offset Intel’s share gains in the channel as the OEM end market is larger than the channel and generally exhibits beter pricing.” He remains Neutral on the stock.

Intel shares today have gained 67 cents, to $20.63.