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Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) shares are in freefall today. Share prices have fallen nearly 5% in heavy trading as the chip giant slashed guidance for the current quarter.
Is that the right market reaction, or a knee-jerk overreaction? As you'll see later, when I make an opportunistic CAPScall on the stock, I think investors are staring themselves blind at the bad news.
Citing hard-drive shortages due to flooding in Thailand, Intel lowered its revenue guidance by $1 billion to around $13.5 billion. Moreover, gross margins will come up thin in the fourth quarter as Intel's factories really work best when running full speed ahead.
OK, so that's a little scary. But then you're ignoring the other half of this story: Two quarters of hard-drive shortages should lead into "a rebuilding of microprocessor inventories as supplies of hard disk drives recover during the first half of 2012."
That's the silver lining in this cloud.
And it makes perfect sense when you think about it. Western Digital (NYSE: WDC ) and, to a lesser degree, Seagate Technologies (Nasdaq: STX ) can't meet demand for hard drives at the moment because factories and supply chains need to be rebuilt. But this state of affairs won't last forever.
When hard-drive volumes go back up to normal levels, system builders including Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL ) will once again have all the parts they need. If you're holding off on a computer purchase today because this shortage has inflated system prices, you'll simply buy what you need a few months down the road.
So if you've wanted to buy Intel shares but held your itchy trigger finger as share prices jumped 30% since late August, here's a small correction that helps you get a better buy-in price. Intel is a tremendously strong business that will bounce back with a vengeance, so I'd suggest that you take advantage of this opportunity.