Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon had been vocally bearish on Intel’s stock since mid-2020, but he ended that call this weekend. “We have been decidedly negative on Intel’s
prospects for quite some time, a stance clearly justified by the company’s utter collapse as a weakening market and poor decisions shaved billions off the top line, burned billions in cash, and crashed the stock price by almost 50% since CEO Pat Gelsinger arrived,” Rasgon wrote in a Sunday note to clients.
“But while things still look bad, tactically we believe the medium-term setup is, finally, improving a bit, as the company’s issues are known, and numbers (for the first time in a while) may be low enough to stand.” Rasgon’s upgrade to market perform from underperform comes as he sees some less downbeat trends ahead within the company’s roadmap. “Sapphire Rapids (while massively delayed) is finally ramping,” he wrote, referring to Intel’s new server and workstation processor. It brings the potential for artificial-intelligence applications, which taps into the buzzy theme of the moment. Meanwhile, Intel’s new data-center products “are at least stated to be on track for 2024,” he wrote. In his view, the company’s “roadmap is not getting worse (which given current sentiment may be almost as good as getting better).” Rasgon noted an apparent stabilization in the company’s client share. He still has concerns about Intel, but he commented that the stock isn’t under heavy pressure on a steady stream of negati …