Intel's stock soars on revised sales estimate

Intel’s announcement Thursday that it’s second-quarter revenue should be better than it had thought a few weeks ago due to an unexpected rise in personal computer sales sent its stock price rocketing Friday.

The Santa Clara chipmaker’s shares were up more than 7 percent in early trading and a number of Wall Street analysts issued notes boosting their own forecasts for the company.

Intel said the better-than-anticipated PC sales was due to increased purchases by businesses. That’s been widely  attributed to Microsoft’s decision to stop updating its Windows XP operating system, forcing many companies to replace computers using that software.

In a note to their clients,  FBR Capital Markets analysts said they believe “the XP refresh cycle has legs for some time to come” and added that for Intel, “we continue to anticipate strong earning drivers for the foreseeable future.”

But Raymond James’ analysts offered a more pessimistic view of Intel’s stock prospects.

“We see more risk than reward to shares beyond the very near term,” they advised their clients. “While the company will likely continue to benefit from a commercial PC upgrade cycle over the next couple of quarters,” they added, “we believe this is likely a short-term dynamic.”

Photo by Len Lahman, Mercury News

Steve Johnson Steve Johnson (250 Posts)

Steve Johnson covers the microchip industry, cyber security and the big-technology sector that includes Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Cisco Systems.