If I had a dollar for every time I wanted to toss a brick through my monitor to avoid having to read a sophomoric business headline followed by a breezy and all-but-useless press-release rehash, well, I guess I wouldn't need to invest my own dough. Or spend much time working. Or burden you good readers with these festive mini-rants.
But the world is as it is, so cover up those tender ears, and you, Mr. CTX 19" monitor, prepare to duck.
I'm talking today about those chuckle-headed briefs out there referring to the "disappointing" or "weak," forecast at Intel
But, just because the crystal ball-gazing class on the Street decided that $10.6 billion was the mark, and Intel isn't saying that it will hop over that bar, we're all supposed to be disappointed? This is even worse because other peers (who are always called rivals when the mood strikes) like Texas Instruments
To take a page from the teens: "Whatever." Bring it on.
Quite frankly, the easiest money I make in the stock market is when the Street freaks out about little details like these and fails to see the good stuff, like the margin improvement Tim wrote about Thursday, or the shrinking cost of sales growth. Tim and I don't always agree, so when we do, I pay attention. Intel looks healthier to me than it has for quite some time.
I especially love it when we're talking about a technological leader with a powerful brand name, cash, and a plan for the future. Intel, as I've recently described in a few quick hits, is positioning itself to be in a lot more places in the future than the ugly Winbox on my desk. You'll be seeing it in your Apple
I mean, sure there are cycles, and there is competition. Intel may not be the tech leader in all its product lines, but where's it really going to go? And honestly, when are you gonna buy Intel? When everyone loves it, or when they think "eeew?" How about when they think "eeew" in the months before a major PC OS release and just before the advent of other time- and battery-saving technology that will probably spur major changes in the space?
I do not claim to be the world's most sophisticated tech investor. I don't claim to be sophisticated at all. (Pull my finger? Still a classic to me.) But I usually do very well in this space, by following a couple simple rules.
I buy leaders, and I try to do it when everyone else dislikes them. I just make sure the problems aren't really bad. (Hint: Missing the Street's revenue hopes does not qualify as "really bad.") This has worked for me with Nokia
The beauty of this strategy is that it is so utterly repeatable. All these companies stumble from time to time, and precisely because they are so overscrutinized, the real cost of the stumble is often completely disproportionate to the ensuing market haircut. But unlike some "value" companies, such as heavy industries, the turnarounds in chips and tech can come very quickly, especially for the leaders. (That's why we've even had a couple tech comebacks in Motley Fool Inside Value, our newsletter aimed at rooting out old-school, cheap stock plays.)
So go ahead, pressmen, headline writers, panicky Streeters, bring on the pessimism. Bring on the pain. Some of us pray nightly for this stuff -- you know, us buy-low, sell-high types. Intel isn't quite cheap enough for me yet, but you smack it down closer to $22, and I'll see you on the trading floor.
For related Foolishness:
- Take a backward look at Tim's preview.
- Headline risk? I'll have some of that, too, please.
- Buying when everyone is cheerful? How's that work?
Seth Jayson reminds the boisterous AMD partisans that he builds all his machines with AMD chips, but he's not fool enough (little f) to let that cloud his investment thesis on Intel. At the time of publication, he had shares of ATI and SanDisk, as well as covered calls on the latter, but no positions in any other company mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.