It's been up, up, and away for shares of semiconductor powerhouse Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) so far in 2014, as Intel stock has handily outperformed the broad market indices.
However, as we shift toward Intel earnings next week, investors will once again look for reassurance that Intel's roadmap for stealing mobile share from British rival ARM Holdings (NASDAQ:ARMH) remains well under way.
Intel earnings: Cautiously optimistic
Analysts are expecting a resurgent quarter from Intel on both the revenue and, especially, the earnings front. Recently, we've seen a number of signs that seem as if several of Intel's underlying drivers might actually be improving.
For starters, it appears the global PC market might have finally stabilized, as this week, research firms Gartner and IDC both said PC shipments came in as basically flat during the second quarter, after years of struggles. Beyond the PC market, though, investors will be anxiously awaiting any and all news about Intel's ongoing assault against ARM Holdings.
To be clear, Intel has managed to make some reasonable inroads versus ARM Holdings during the past 18 months. However, Intel's wins at the moment skew toward the smaller (and potentially slowing?) tablet market. To truly steal significant market share from ARM Holdings, Intel will need to notch more major wins in the smartphone front, an opportunity set that could still be a year or two away. In the video below, tech and telecom analyst Andrew Tonner discusses the key numbers and stories to watch for when Intel reports next week.