Intel downgraded by Wells Fargo on weak 2019 demand and increased AMD competition

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Wells Fargo lowered its rating of Intel shares to market perform from outperform on Friday, citing weakening 2019 demand coupled with rising competition from Advanced Micro Devices.

“Weak semi demand data points thus far in 2019, coupled with an expectation of cautious outlooks into [the second quarter of 2019], leave us to consider some downside risk” to estimates for the first half of the year for Intel shares, Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers wrote in a note to investors.

Wells Fargo is taking “a more cautious view” on demand for semiconductors ahead of first quarter earnings, Rakers said. He added that Intel has especially “tough” sales numbers to hit this year.

“Investor sentiment could become more tempered amid increasing visibility into AMD share gain momentum,” Rakers said.

AMD’s line of 7 nanometer processors “are competitively well-positioned” to Intel’s coming 10 nanometer chips.

Intel shares slipped 1.3% in premarket trading from Thursday’s close of $55.92 a share. Wells Fargo has a $60 price target on the stock, up from $55 a share previously.

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