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Stock Analyst Update

Intel: CEO Resignation Doesn't Dampen Our Positive View

We're maintaining our fair value estimate and wide moat rating for the chip titan and view shares as undervalued.


On June 21,  Intel (INTC) announced CEO Brian Krzanich has resigned following a prior consensual relationship with an Intel employee, which violates Intel’s "non-fraternization policy" for all managers. CFO Bob Swan will step in as interim CEO while the board of directors conducts a search for a permanent CEO that includes both internal and external candidates. The company also noted its second-quarter sales would be about $16.9 billion, above its guidance of $16.3 billion. Our initial reaction is that the company could be in a precarious position, as Swan has only been with Intel since October 2016. 

However, we are maintaining our $62 fair value estimate, wide moat rating, and Standard stewardship rating for Intel and see an appropriate margin of safety at current levels, given the chip titan’s comprehensive product portfolio tailored to computers from the data center to the edge. Despite a declining PC market, we like Intel’s scattershot approach to addressing challenges in computing (artificial intelligence and cloud), connectivity (5G), and memory (3D NAND and 3D XPoint). Its string of acquisitions--Altera, Mobileye, Nervana, and Movidius--has enabled new growth vectors for Intel to tackle while enhancing the capabilities of its incumbent leadership in client computing and data center.

Before Intel, Swan was part of private equity firm General Atlantic and held CFO roles at eBay, Electronic Data Systems, and TRW. We think a few relatively recent additions to Intel’s senior management team could be suitable candidates for the CEO role, including Venkata (Murthy) Renduchintala (president of the technology, systems architecture, and client group and chief engineering officer), formerly of Qualcomm, and Sohail U. Ahmed (general manager of the technology and manufacturing group).

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Abhinav Davuluri does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.