Discussions involving the PC market usually include an underlying theme of "the sky is falling." However, more and more pundits are coming to the realization that PCs aren't dead -- in fact, the market is actually stabilizing. That's good news for a number of stocks, but one in particular will really benefit: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC).
Until recently Intel was a nearly forgotten player: Its early stage Internet of Things (IoT), cloud-based data centers, and memory solutions initiatives weren't growing enough to overcome the "inevitable" decline in PC sales, or so the theory went. The result is Intel is an outstanding stock to buy right now for both value and income investors.
Better late than never
With its stock up just 9% year-to-date, it may seem as though Intel has slipped under most investors' radar -- which it had until recently. Intel is up 17% in the last three months as folks finally recognize it represents an enormous opportunity, both now and long into the future.
The beauty of Intel for value investors is that despite the recent good tidings and the fact its share price is bumping up against 52-week highs, it remains one of the best bargains in the tech industry. Trading at a mere 13 times future earnings, Intel and its 2.75% dividend yield are valued at nearly half its peer average of 24.6 times earnings today.
After a slight hiccup the first quarter of this year -- Intel still reported a record $14.8 billion in total revenue, though several of its units under-performed -- its second quarter proved it's back on track.
Good and getting better
Revenue climbed 14% last quarter to another record-breaking $14.8 billion, and virtually all of Intel's divisions handily outperformed its so-so start to the year. The client computing group, home to Intel's PC sales, jumped 12% to $8.2 billion, twice the growth rate of the first quarter.
Intel's second-largest division, data centers, posted a solid 9% growth rate last quarter with $4.4 billion in revenue, IoT rose 26% to $720 million, and the unsung but rapidly growing memory solutions unit soared 58% to $874 million.
In addition to CEO Brian Krzanich's "data center first" initiative, along with IoT and other cutting-edge opportunities, shaving overhead is another objective of Intel's. Last quarter Intel pared nearly $1.4 billion in operating expenses compared to a year ago, an impressive 21% decline. Rising sales and shrinking expenses? That's a nice combination, to say the least.
The future is now
NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) is another chip behemoth recording record revenue, as it did last quarter with a 56% jump in sales to $2.23 billion. One of the driving forces behind its stellar quarter was the more-than-two-and-a-half-times increase in data center sales, Intel's bread and butter and a key reason NVIDIA stock has sky-rocketed 72% in 2017.
Not to be outdone, Intel recently replaced NVIDIA in another critical area: automotive technology. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) ousted NVIDIA as a supplier of components for its megainfotainment systems, opting instead for, you guessed it, Intel. And automotive IoT isn't the only burgeoning market Intel is targeting.
Along with a couple of networking giants, Intel's 5G mobile platform was the basis for the recently unveiled first public high-speed network in Europe. Virtual reality (VR) represents yet another outstanding growth opportunity, and Intel thinks it may have found just the thing to jump-start the fledgling market: Wireless VR.
Intel's VR technology gives gamers and other VR aficionados the capability to have an immersive experience without being tethered to a PC. Will the new "WIGig" technology finally kick the VR market into gear? Intel thinks so, and it's another example of the many growth opportunities at its finger tips, in addition to PCs, data centers, and memory solutions -- all reasons why Intel is a stock I'd buy right now.