Intel bear Rasgon throws in the towel

|About: Intel Corporation (INTC)|By:, SA News Editor

Bernstein's Stacy Rasgon, bearish on Intel (INTC) since Oct. 2012 (and often vocally so), has upgraded shares to Market Perform, and lifted his PT by $6 to $28.

In spite of the upgrade, Rasgon insists his "structural short thesis" for Intel, which centers around ASP/margin pressure caused by a mix shift towards mobile processors (i.e. Atom), has "played out." But he argues the market doesn't seem to mind. "We never got the de-rating that we sought; quite the opposite in fact, as multiples have climbed rather than compressed."

He adds near-term PC strength - Intel is only 2 weeks removed from a guidance hike - is "a definite headwind" for the bear thesis, and sees several potential bullish catalysts. They include a broader PC recovery (for now, it's enterprise-focused), gross margin improvement stemming from the 14nm transition, positive mobile newsflow, and a fresh data center upgrade cycle following the 2H launch of Intel's Grantley Xeon CPUs.

INTC +0.4% AH to $30.89. The 52-week high is $31.00.