Here’s Some Good News for Intel Investors

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) might be struggling from the effect that the diminishing global demand for personal computers, and by extension its chips, has had on its business — its stock price has lost more than 22 percent in the past 12-month period — but investors can take solace in two bits of good news that popped up on Monday.

First, Reuters reported that Intel’s Israeli subsidiary more than doubled its exports in 2012 to $4.6 billion.

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Last year, Intel’s exports increased 109 percent from $2.2 billion in 2011. Results were strengthened once the company’s Kiryat Gat plant in the south of Israel began production on chips using 22 nanometer technology…
In the next two to three years, the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer will build 14 nanometer chips in Ireland and the United States, but the company has not yet decided where it will produce its 10 nanometer chips, which, given the narrower specifications, can fit more transistors on a single chip, thereby boosting performance significantly. Executives at Intel’s subsidiary are hoping the company will pick Israel.

“The average life of a technology is two to six years so we need to be busy to get the next technology, 10 nanometer,” Maxine Fassberg, general manager of Intel Israel, told reporters on Sunday, according to Reuters. “We need to get a decision far enough in advance to be able to upgrade the plant. So for 10 nanometer, decisions will need to be made this year.”

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Intel and Israel have a close relationship; the company has invested more than $10.5 billion in Israel in the past ten years, including $1.1 billion last year, and the company’s products accounted for 20 percent of Israel’s high-tech exports in 2012…

While business in Israel is solid, Intel is making moves to boost its business in the United States, which is the second piece of good news for investors this week. The Verge reported Monday that Intel could be the company to “crack Internet TV.” Noting that the rumors and reports of Intel’s secretive pay-television project always had an “element of implausibility to them,” the publication stated that Intel Vice President Eric Huggers publically announced at the Dive into Media conference that the company will introduce a set-top box and internet television platform before the end of this year.

“You would have your own broadband and we provide the device and the service,” Intel Media spokesperson Jon Carvill told the publication. Customers will “buy the device and then subscribe to the services they want,” he added.

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The Verge called Intel’s proposal “genuinely audacious” because it will offer a full selection of what the company has termed “catch-up television,” meaning subscribers will have digital access to every broadcasted program for up to seven days after transmission, without having to use a DVR, thanks to cloud-based delivery of television content. Intel’s service will also include an expansive catalog of on-demand videos similar what many cable and satellite companies are offering to compete with Netflix’s (NASDAQ:NFLX) library.

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