Intel’s Troubles Run So Deep Even Bulls Are Wary

With the most sell ratings in the Nasdaq 100 Stock Index, Intel Corp. is running ever lower on fans. Things have gotten so bad that even analysts brave enough to recommend buying are striking a cautious tone.

One of those, Srini Pajjuri at Raymond James, reasons that the chip designer’s “many problems” are unlikely to get much worse in the near term.

“We believe that the 2023 bar is low enough and expect the company to benefit from cyclical tailwinds and aggressive cost cuts,” Pajjuri wrote in a note last week, resuming coverage with an outperform recommendation.

Another advocate, Gus Richard at Northland Securities, is sticking to his outperform rating, even after saying that buying the stock in the wake of January’s ugly earnings report would likely make investors “physically ill.”

The root of Intel’s woes stems from ceding its leadership position in the crucial area of manufacturing technology to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics Co. Those companies provide outsourced production to Intel’s competitors such as Advanced Micro Devices Inc., allowing rivals to field better products and grab market share.

Of the 45 analysts tracked by Bloomberg who cover Intel, just nine have a buy equivalent rating on the stock. That’s after the shares slumped 45% in the past 12 months, putting the Santa Clara, California-based company on the verge of falling below $100 billion in market value for the first time in a decade.