INTC: Inventory Correction Ahead

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Bobby Burleson and David Evanson, Fall, 2011

“We see risk of inventory correction for Intel (INTC) in the first quarter,” said Canaccord Genuity analyst Bobby Burleson. “Recent checks indicate Intel’s customers are experiencing CPU inventory growth in Q4 as a result of hard disk drive shortages.”

Mr. Burleson said, Tier-2 customer inventories appear to be growing the most and now stand around six to seven weeks, versus their normal four weeks. Tier-1 customers are also seeing inventories grow to about 1.5 weeks above normal.

He said, “We believe [hard disk drive] shortages could constrain PC production by >20% in Q4 and are likely to worsen in Q1, constraining production by as much as 40%. This disruption comes at a time of increasing uncertainty for PC demand.”

Mr. Burleson cautiously reiterated his HOLD rating and $24 price target on INTC.