Outside of a shocking announcement that the company plans to decrease its dividend or sees revenue trending way down this year and next, there's not much that can shake my bullish tone on Intel (INTC).
Fellow Seeking Alpha contributor Cameron Kaine thinks Intel will blow the doors off of the quarter. That might be the case. For the record, the consensus, as per Capital IQ via Briefing.com, calls for EPS of $0.53 and revenue of $12.84 billion, which represents declines in both areas. On the heels of some solid recent data from the PC industry, some analysts look for numbers to come in at least inline with estimates.
As usual, however, I look to the future, paying more attention to Intel's conference call, not the press release it blasts to the media beforehand. Kaine takes a similar approach:
One of the many positives that stood out during the Q4 conference call was how clear it was that the company believed in itself and in its future -- particularly regarding how it guided in capital expenditures and its research and development goals. A focus on R&D expenses will be how Intel demonstrates to the market that it has not given up on its ability to innovate, nor has it conceded the mobile device market to Texas Instruments (TXN) and Qualcomm as has been assumed. Investors will also pay close attention to further developments regarding its upcoming and highly anticipated marketing campaign, one that is said to be the company's largest since 2003.
Intel appears to have already kicked off that campaign. Last week, I highlighted encouraging words from one of its executives in association with an ad buy it executed with Internet radio pioneer Pandora (P). Does this sound like vision that comes from a stodgy, old chip company?
Entertainment, and specifically music, will be a big push for us in our advertising focus in 2012. We're targeting a younger audience than we have in the past as we feel they tend to influence not only like-minded individuals, but also those outside their direct peer group. To be effective with that audience we need to help create experiences for them that are compelling and worthy of sharing across their social graph ...
-David Veneski, U.S. Media Director, Intel Corp.
If you're a long-term investor, that should excite you. These guys absolutely get it.
Therefore, I will be looking for more color on:
- The Pandora deal and how we should expect to see Intel's larger hip and progressive marketing campaign unfold;
- Intel's investment in automotive technology;
- The company's reported move into the media space;
- and, thinking more near-term, is its ultrabook push starting to pay off?
I am long the stock with an April $29 call written against my modest position. I would not be surprised to see my shares called away, though, it's hardly a guarantee. We still have three days until April options expire.
As long as I like what I hear about the future, I intend to take a larger stake in INTC after the report. I will write covered calls against the position with May expirations. INTC's post-earnings price movement will dictate the strike or strikes I select. If the stock pulls back, I will get aggressive and write the $29 or $30 calls. If INTC surges, I will likely move up in strike prices. Either way, I am bullish and intend to be long INTC for the long haul.