Intel was set to erase nearly US$10 billion in market value on Friday (Jan 28) after the US chipmaker stumped Wall Street with dismal earnings projections, fanning fears around a slump in the personal-computer market.
The company predicted a surprise loss for the first quarter and its revenue forecast was US$3 billion below estimates as it also struggled with slowing growth in the data center business.
Intel shares fell more than 7 per cent, while rival Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia recovered from steep premarket losses to trade flat. Intel supplier KLA Corp fell 5 per cent after its dismal forecast.
“No words can portray or explain the historic collapse of Intel,” said Rosenblatt Securities’ Hans Mosesmann, who was among the 21 analysts who cut their price targets on the stock.
The poor outlook underscored the challenges facing Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger as he tries to reestablish Intel’s dominance of the sector by expanding contract manufacturing and building new factories in the United States and Europe.
The company has been steadily losing market share to rivals like AMD, which has used contract chipmakers such as Taiwan-based TSMC to make chips that outpace Intel’s technology.
“AMD’s Genoa and Bergamo (data center) chips have a strong price-performance advantage compared to Intel’s Sapphire Rapids processors, which should drive further AMD share gains,” said Matt Wegner, analyst at YipitData.
Analysts said that puts Intel at a disadvantage even when the data center market bottoms out, expected in the second half of 2022, as the company would have lost even more share by then.
“It is now clear why Intel needs to cut so much cost as the company’s original plans prove to be fantasy,” brokerage Bernstein said.
“The magnitude of the deterioration is stunning, and brings potential concern to the company’s cash position over time.”
Intel, which plans to cut US$3 billion in costs this year, generated US$7.7 billion in cash from operations in the fourth quarter and paid dividends of US$1.5 billion.
With capital expenditure estimated to be around US$20 billion in 2023, analysts said the company should consider cutting its dividend.