After the close last night, INTC reported 2Q15 results. Revenue came in at $13.2 billion, down 5% year-on-year. Operating profits were down by 25%. Net was $2.7 billion, however–off by only 3%. EPS came in at $.55, flat yoy (due to continuing share repurchases shrinking the total shares outstanding). That figure beat the analyst consensus of $.51.
The main points, as I see them:
–cloud business was stronger than expected
–PC business was weaker, due presumably to overall GDP softness in emerging markets, especially China, and in the EU
–the overall business is shifting to higher-end, more cutting-edge products. This is resulting in lower than expected volumes. Higher prices and margins are offsetting this
–even though INTC is expecting a bounceback during the back half of the year from an unusually weak first six months, it is edging down its full-year forecasts slightly to account for continuing weakness is the PC market
–the 2Q tx rate was a miniscule 9.3%, compared with 28.8% in 1Q. That’s because INTC has decided that some cash balances earned abroad and held overseas are permanently invested there and is asking the IRS for a refund of taxes previously paid on this money. Eps would have been around $.47 at the 1Q15 tax rate.
–the Altera (ALTR) acquisition to close and new field programmable gate array-based microprocessor products to emerge
–world GDP to accelerate
–the product balance to shift to non-PC products (the cloud, the internet of things…) to a degree that they, not PCs, define the company
–tablets to become profitable
in the meantime
I’ve been surprised by the weakness in INTC shares over the past six weeks or so, as the extent of softness in the 2Q15 PC market has become apparent.
My picture has been that the stock goes sideways, supported by a discount PE multiple and a 3%+ dividend yield, while the company (successfully) transitions into a post-PC world. I continue to think that this is not so bad for shareholders during a time like the present when the market in general is likely to go sideways.
The key question, for which I have no strong answer (because I’ve been thinking I still have time to formulate one), is what to do as/when economic activity begins to accelerate. Clearly, in my mind at least, if overall corporate profits begin to rise quickly, being paid 3% to wait for future developments won’t appear to be such a good deal. I don’t think the current weakness in INTC shares is the first inkling of this sort of shift. But it’s something I have to consider.