The wealth-building power of compound interest will never cease to amaze me. It's a story of patience and attention to detail, where small differences in the short term add up to massive divergence over decades. In the end, the biggest winners don't always deliver the fattest share-price returns.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) component and semiconductor giant Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)has seen its shares fall 2.5% today, plunging to prices not seen since early December. The move sliced four points off the Dow's total value. At these prices, the stock offers a juicy 4.5% dividend yield. Is that a red flag or a marker of extreme opportunity?
The company has an immaculate dividend history. Payouts rise on a regular basis, and the yield has never looked richer:
2012 was not a good year for Intel investors. The stock has often crushed its Dow peers year by year, but it fell far behind last year. At this point, Intel has underperformed the Dow over the last decade, even if you reinvested every dividend check along the way.
Investors turned pessimistic on Intel because the company missed the boat on mobile computing -- at least in the early years of explosive market growth. Mobility-focused rival ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH) dominates that space, powering nearly every smartphone and tablet on the market today. Intel has thrown its hat in the ring, but it's hard to find an actual consumer-ready mobile device with Intel inside.
Fellow laptop, desktop, and server chip specialist Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) fell even further behind the mobile curve. The company only recently showed any desire to partake in the mobile sweepstakes at all, and it still doesn't have any low-power, high-performance products ready for the space. So AMD and Intel have seen their stock prices decimated while ARM soared.
But I find it hard to believe that Intel will fail the most important test in the company's storied history. Intel remains a massive presence in the server market, and all these mobile gadgets need to have servers feeding them fresh data. The company is also pushing the mobile envelope with its new Clover Trail chips. Intel is too big and too talented to fail in both of these important markets, and it only takes one success to prove today's doubters wrong.
Looking back at these prices in five or 10 years, I think we'll see a temporary buy-in window with a chance to lock in tremendous dividend yields. I have a bullish CAPScall and a recently opened real-money position backing up these words. Buy Intel now or get ready to regret a missed opportunity.
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