Intel Corp. weathered another tough investor reaction to its earnings report Thursday, and analysts say the chip maker faces another potential challenge in addition to falling margins: A looming oversupply of PCs that promises to hit its largest business segment.
Shares of Intel
fell more than 6% Thursday and hit an intraday low of $47.78, their lowest trade since Dec. 22, 2020, when they touched $45.77. The stock was Thursday’s worst performer on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
which was flat.
The stock was headed for the seventh-straight quarter in which it fell the day after earnings were reported, even though Intel beat earnings expectations each time. The average one-day post-earnings decline after the previous six earnings reports has been 9.7%, according to FactSet data.
While the chip maker easily topped Wall Street estimates for the quarter in an earnings report late Wednesday, results showed a 7% decline in revenue from client computing, the traditional PC group and Intel’s largest business unit, to $10.1 billion, which was higher than Wall Street’s estimate of $9.59 billion.
The company’s forecast elicited concern, however, not just because Intel reported that fourth-quarter margins fell to 55.4% from 60% in the year-ago quarter, but because of signs the PC boom that Intel has enjoyed is swiftly coming to an end.
For the first quarter, Intel forecast adjusted first-quarter earnings of 80 cents a share on revenue of about $18.3 billion, while analysts surveyed by FactSet on average had expected earnings of 86 cents a share on revenue of $17.61 billion. The company is holding off on giving an annual guidance until its Feb. 17 investor day.
Outside of the falling margins question, which has been on the table since last quarter, analysts seemed to be more concerned this time around with how an expected drop in PC growth will hurt Intel as it’s trying to rebuild itself.
Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon, who has an underperform…