Is Intel a Buy? Deep Dive into Software Expansion and AI Aspirations

Intel Corporation (INTC), a global leader in designing and manufacturing semiconductor products, is making headlines with its ambitious goals for software expansion. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Greg Lavender told Reuters that Intel’s push into software is progressing well, with the company potentially achieving cumulative software revenue of $1 billion by the end of 2027.

Progress in Building a Software Business

INTC has been steadily growing its software capabilities. The company generated over $100 million in software revenue in 2021, the year Greg Lavender was brought in from cloud computing firm VMware, Inc. (VMW) by CEO Pat Gelsinger to lead Intel’s software strategy. Since then, the chipmaker has acquired three software companies. It highlights Intel’s strategic pivot towards becoming a significant player in the software market, complementing its traditional hardware dominance.

Intel, which reported $54 billion in revenue in 2023, offers a variety of software services and tools, ranging from cloud computing to artificial intelligence (AI). Lavender stated that his strategy is centered on providing services in AI, performance, and security, with the company making significant investments in all three areas.

The chipmaker's investment in AI is particularly noteworthy. INTC’s upcoming Gaudi 3 chip is expected to generate significant demand, potentially positioning the company as a major contender in the AI chip market. Intel said it expected over $500 million in sales from its Gaudi 3 chips in the second half of the year.

Powered by the high-efficiency Intel® Gaudi® platform and boasting proven MLPerf benchmark performance, Intel® Gaudi® 3 AI accelerators are designed to tackle demanding training and inference tasks. Recently, Intel announced pricing for Intel® Gaudi® 2 and Intel® Gaudi® 3 AI accelerator kits, which redefine power, performance, and affordability.

A standard AI kit, including Intel Gaudi 2 accelerators with a universal baseboard (UBB), is offered to system providers at $65,000, estimated to be one-third the cost of comparable competitive platforms. Also, a kit including eight Intel Gaudi 3 accelerators with a UBB will cost $125,000, expected to be two-thirds the cost of comparable competitive platforms.

NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) currently dominates this space, controlling about 83% of the data center chip market in 2023. However, INTC’s focus on developing versatile and efficient AI processors could challenge NVDA’s dominance.

Positioning as a Leader in the Tech Industry

Intel’s comprehensive approach to AI software development could significantly enhance its position in the technology industry. CTO Greg Lavender mentioned that Intel is backing open-source initiatives to create software and tools capable of powering a diverse array of AI chips, with further breakthroughs anticipated in the upcoming months.

A crucial part of NVDA’s success is attributed to its proprietary software, CUDA, which binds developers to Nvidia chips. However, France’s antitrust regulator is preparing to charge Nvidia with suspected anti-competitive practices. The regulatory body voiced concerns about the generative AI sector’s reliance on CUDA.

Intel is a part of the UXL Foundation, a consortium of technology companies working on an open-source project that aims to make computer code run on any machine, regardless of the underlying chip and hardware. Other notable members of this consortium include Qualcomm Inc (QCOM), Samsung Electronics, and Arm Holdings plc (ARM).

Furthermore, INTC is actively contributing to Triton, an initiative led by OpenAI to develop an open-source programming language designed to improve code efficiency across AI chips. This project is also supported by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) and Meta Platforms, Inc. (META). Triton is already operational on Intel’s existing graphics processing units and will be compatible with the company's next generation of AI chips.

“Triton is going to level the playing field,” Lavender said, emphasizing the potential impact of this initiative.

By contributing to open-source projects like Triton and the UXL Foundation, Intel aims to create a more inclusive and competitive AI ecosystem. This strategy boosts INTC’s technological capabilities and strengthens its reputation as a forward-thinking company willing to invest in the broader tech community.

Robust First-Quarter Performance but Weak Second-Quarter Forecast

For the first quarter that ended March 30, 2024, INTC’s net revenue increased 8.6% year-over-year to $12.72 billion, primarily driven by growth in its personal computing, data center, and AI business. Revenue from the company’s biggest business, Client Computing Group (CCG), which is responsible for chips for PCs and laptops, grew 31% year-over-year to $7.50 billion.

Intel’s Data Center and AI business, which makes central processors for servers and other parts and software, reported sales of $3 billion, up 5% year-over-year. The company continues to compete for server market share against well-established chipmakers like Nvidia.

Further, the company’s gross margin rose 30.2% from the prior year’s quarter to $5.22 billion. INTC’s non-GAAP operating income came in at $723 million, compared to an operating loss of $294 million in the previous year’s quarter. Its non-GAAP net income and earnings per share were $759 million and $0.18, compared to a net loss and loss per share of $169 million and $0.04, respectively, in the same period of 2023.

The chipmaker gave weak guidance for the second quarter. For the quarter that ended June 2024, Intel expects its revenue to come between $12.50 billion and $13.50 billion, and its non-GAAP earnings per share is anticipated to be $0.10.

Meanwhile, analysts expect INTC’s revenue for the second quarter to increase marginally year-over-year to $12.99 billion. The company’s EPS is expected to decline 21.6% year-over-year to $0.10 for the same period.

Bottom Line

Intel’s strategic shift towards expanding its software capabilities, primarily focusing on AI and cybersecurity, is setting the stage for substantial future revenue growth. The company’s progress in building a robust software business, evidenced by the significant revenue surge and strategic acquisitions over the years, highlights a promising growth trajectory.

By focusing on AI, performance, and security areas and making significant investments, Intel is diversifying its revenue streams and positioning itself as a formidable player in the tech industry. The company’s executives hinted at robust demand for its upcoming Gaudi 3 chip, which can help Intel take second place in the AI chip market.

While INTC’s involvement in open-source initiatives like Triton and the UXL Foundation, collaboration with industry leaders, and continuous innovation underscores its commitment to fostering a competitive and inclusive AI ecosystem, Nvidia’s dominance in the data center chip market is pronounced and presents a significant challenge.

Intel’s solid first-quarter performance reflects the effectiveness of its strategic initiatives, but its dim second-quarter guidance indicates some short-term challenges. Analysts predict a slight year-over-year revenue increase but a notable EPS decline for the second quarter. While it may face hurdles in the immediate future, INTC’s long-term prospects appear promising, driven by its software expansion and strategic investments in AI.

Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a Neutral rating on INTC stock while maintaining a price target of $40. Also, TD Cowen reiterated coverage on Intel with a Neutral rating and set a new price target of $40 from $45 previously. Given this backdrop, it seems wise to wait for a better entry point in INTC now.

Eli Lilly (LLY): A Golden Opportunity for Investors?

Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) is well-known for its groundbreaking drug development that addresses several common and rare medical conditions. With a robust drug pipeline and strategic acquisitions, LLY, valued at $847.82 billion, is emerging as a formidable contender in the pharmaceutical industry, poised to reach a trillion-dollar market cap. Eli Lilly’s stock has had a solid run, surging around 61% year-to-date and more than 110% over the past year.

This article delves into Eli Lilly’s diverse drug pipeline, recent acquisitions and partnerships, and financial performance, highlighting why it represents a golden opportunity for investors.

Innovative Drug Pipeline

Eli Lilly’s success is primarily attributed to its innovative drug portfolio, which continues to drive significant revenue and earnings growth. Its product portfolio includes Mounjaro, a revolutionary weight-loss drug that has garnered substantial attention for its efficacy, setting new benchmarks in the weight management sector, and Trulicity, a leading diabetes medication that helps lower blood sugar levels and has become a staple in diabetes management.

Further, the company offers Verzenio, a crucial treatment for breast cancer, Taltz, which targets autoimmune dysfunctions and has proven effective in treating conditions like psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, and Jardiance, an oral medication to treat adults with type 2 diabetes, chronic (long-term) heart failure, and chronic kidney disease.

Additionally, Humalog®, a fast-acting insulin, is another cornerstone of LLY’s diabetes treatments, widely used by patients to manage their blood sugar levels effectively. Zepbound, a new addition, is an injectable medication for chronic weight management in adults with obesity or overweight with at least one weight-related condition, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or high cholesterol.

Recently, Eli Lilly’s Kisunla™ got approved by the FDA for treating adults with early symptomatic Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which includes people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and people with the mild dementia stage of AD with confirmed amyloid pathology.

In addition to these established medications, LLY is continuously expanding its pipeline with cutting-edge treatments. Pipeline progress includes optimistic results from two Phase 3 trials of tirzepatide for obstructive sleep apnea, submission of mirikizumab for Crohn’s disease in the U.S. and EU, resubmission of lebrikizumab for atopic dermatitis, and initiation of lepodisiran in a Phase 3 study for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Strategic Acquisitions and Partnerships

To diversify and strengthen its drug portfolio, Eli Lilly has strategically acquired Morphic Holding, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company specializing in oral integrin therapies for severe chronic conditions. Morphic’s lead development program is a selective oral small molecule inhibitor of α4β7 integrin for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can potentially expand treatment options for patients.

This molecule, MORF-057, is currently being evaluated in two Phase 2 studies for ulcerative colitis and one Phase 2 study for Crohn’s disease. In addition, Morphic is developing a preclinical pipeline of other molecules aimed at treating autoimmune diseases, pulmonary hypertensive diseases, fibrotic diseases, and cancer. This acquisition broadens Eli Lilly’s therapeutic reach and underscores its commitment to addressing unmet medical needs.

Daniel Skovronsky, M.D., Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Eli Lilly, said, “We are eager to welcome Morphic colleagues to Lilly as this strategic transaction reinforces our commitment to developing new therapies in the field of gastroenterology, where Lilly has made significant investments to deliver first-in-class molecules for the benefit of patients.”

Also, in June, LLY announced a collaboration with OpenAI, enabling the company to utilize OpenAI’s generative AI to invent novel antimicrobials for treating drug-resistant pathogens. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is considered one of the foremost public health and development threats across the global health landscape. This partnership marks a groundbreaking step in combating the increasingly severe yet often overlooked threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Robust First-Quarter 2024 Results and Upbeat Full-Year Outlook

 Eli Lilly’s financial performance in the first quarter of 2024 showcases its resilience and growth potential. For the quarter that ended March 31, 2024, LLY’s revenue increased 26% year-over-year to $8.77 billion, driven by 16% increases in volume and 10% due to higher realized prices. The volume surge was due to solid growth from Mounjaro, Zepbound®, Verzenio, and Jardiance.

LLY’s non-GAAP gross margin grew 33% from the year-ago value to $7.23 billion. The rise in gross margin was primarily driven by higher realized prices, favorable product mix, and improvements in production cost. The company’s non-GAAP net income and earnings per share were $2.34 billion and $2.58, compared to $1.46 billion and $1.62 in the same period of 2023, respectively.

Following an outstanding first-quarter performance, Eli Lilly raised full-year 2024 revenue guidance by $2 billion. Also, the company increased non-GAAP EPS guidance by $1.30 to be in the range of $13.50 to $14.

Bottom Line

LLY’s relentless focus on innovation, strategic acquisitions and collaborations, and expanding its drug pipeline ensures sustained growth and profitability. Its significant progress in addressing some of the world’s most critical healthcare challenges has led to a higher demand for its medicines. To support future growth, the company is making substantial pipeline investments and rapidly expanding its manufacturing capacity to ensure its incretin medicines reach more patients.

Moreover, in May, Eli Lilly more than doubled its investment in its Lebanon, Indiana, manufacturing site with a new $5.30 billion commitment, raising the company’s total investment in this site from $3.7 billion to $9 billion. This expansion will boost Lilly’s capacity to manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for Zepbound® injection and Mounjaro®, allowing more adults with chronic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes to benefit from these vital treatments.

Analysts also remain highly bullish due to the pharma giant’s robust fundamentals and growth prospects. Berenberg analyst Kerry Holford recently raised the price target on Eli Lilly from $850 to $1,000 and maintained a Buy rating on the stock. Moreover, Barclays analyst Carter Gould maintained an Overweight rating for LLY and increased the price target from $913 to $1,025.

With its stock up more than 60% year-to-date, Eli Lilly is on a clear upward trajectory. If this trend continues, the company is well-poised to join the exclusive trillion-dollar stocks club, a milestone that signifies immense market confidence and stability. For investors seeking a resilient and growth-oriented pharma stock, LLY stands out as a prime choice, promising substantial returns in the long run.

Nvidia’s GPUs a Game-Changer for Investors?

NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA), a tech giant advancing AI through its cutting-edge graphics processing units (GPUs), became the third U.S. company to exceed a staggering market capitalization of $3 trillion in June, after Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) and Apple Inc. (AAPL). This significant milestone marks nearly a doubling of its value since the start of the year. Nvidia’s stock has surged more than 159% year-to-date and around 176% over the past year.

What drives the company’s exceptional growth, and how do Nvidia GPUs translate into significant financial benefits for cloud providers and investors? This piece will explore the financial implications of investing in NVIDIA GPUs, the impressive ROI metrics for cloud providers, and the company’s growth prospects in the AI GPU market.

Financial Benefits of NVDA’s GPUs for Cloud Providers

During the Bank of America Securities 2024 Global Technology Conference, Ian Buck, Vice President and General Manager of NVDA’s hyperscale and HPC business, highlighted the substantial financial benefits for cloud providers by investing in NVIDIA GPUs.

Buck illustrated that for every dollar spent on NVIDIA GPUs, cloud providers can generate five dollars over four years. This return on investment (ROI) becomes even more impressive for inferencing tasks, where the profitability rises to seven dollars per dollar invested over the same period, with this figure continuing to increase.

This compelling ROI is driven by the superior performance and efficiency of Nvidia’s GPUs, which enable cloud providers to offer enhanced services and handle more complex workloads, particularly in the realm of AI. As AI applications expand across various industries, the demand for high-performance inference solutions escalates, further boosting cloud providers’ financial benefits utilizing NVIDIA’s technology.

NVDA’s Progress in AI and GPU Innovations

NVIDIA’s commitment to addressing the surging demand for AI inference is evident in its continuous innovation and product development. The company introduced cutting-edge products like NVIDIA Inference Microservices (NIMs), designed to support popular AI models such as Llama, Mistral, and Gemma.

These optimized inference microservices for deploying AI models at scale facilitate seamless integration of AI capabilities into cloud infrastructures, enhancing efficiency and scalability for cloud providers.

In addition to NIMs, NVDA is also focusing on its new Blackwell GPU, engineered particularly for inference tasks and energy efficiency. The upcoming Blackwell model is expected to ship to customers later this year. While there may be initial shortages, Nvidia remains optimistic. Buck noted that each new technology phase brings supply and demand challenges, as they experienced with the Hopper GPU.

Furthermore, the early collaboration with cloud providers on the forthcoming Rubin GPU, slated for a 2026 release, underscores the company’s strategic foresight in aligning its innovations with industry requirements.

Nvidia’s GPUs Boost its Stock Value and Earnings

The financial returns of investing in Nvidia GPUs benefit cloud providers considerably and have significant implications for NVDA’s stock value and earnings. With a $4 trillion market cap within sight, the chip giant’s trajectory suggests continued growth and potential for substantial returns for investors.

NVDA’s first-quarter 2025 earnings topped analysts’ expectations and exceeded the high bar set by investors, as Data Center sales rose to a record high amid booming AI demand. For the quarter that ended April 28, 2024, the company posted a record revenue of $26 billion, up 262% year-over-year. That compared to the consensus revenue estimate of $24.56 billion.

The chip giant’s quarterly Data Center revenue was $22.60 billion, an increase of 427% from the prior year’s quarter. Its non-GAAP operating income rose 492% year-over-year to $18.06 billion. NVIDIA’s non-GAAP net income grew 462% from the prior year’s quarter to $15.24 billion. In addition, its non-GAAP EPS came in at $6.12, up 461% year-over-year.

“Our data center growth was fueled by strong and accelerating demand for generative AI training and inference on the Hopper platform. Beyond cloud service providers, generative AI has expanded to consumer internet companies, and enterprise, sovereign AI, automotive and healthcare customers, creating multiple multibillion-dollar vertical markets,” said Jensen Huang, CEO of NVDA.

“We are poised for our next wave of growth. The Blackwell platform is in full production and forms the foundation for trillion-parameter-scale generative AI. Spectrum-X opens a brand-new market for us to bring large-scale AI to Ethernet-only data centers. And NVIDIA NIM is our new software offering that delivers enterprise-grade, optimized generative AI to run on CUDA everywhere — from the cloud to on-prem data centers and RTX AI PCs — through our expansive network of ecosystem partners,” Huang added.

According to its outlook for the second quarter of fiscal 2025, Nvidia’s revenue is anticipated to be $28 billion, plus or minus 2%. The company expects its non-GAAP gross margins to be 75.5%. For the full year, gross margins are projected to be in the mid-70% range.

Analysts also appear highly bullish about the company’s upcoming earnings. NVDA’s revenue and EPS for the second quarter (ending July 2024) are expected to grow 110.5% and 135.5% year-over-year to $28.43 billion and $0.64, respectively. For the fiscal year ending January 2025, Street expects the chip company’s revenue and EPS to increase 97.3% and 111.1% year-over-year to $120.18 billion and $2.74, respectively.

Robust Future Growth in the AI Data Center Market

The exponential growth of AI use cases and applications across various sectors—ranging from healthcare and automobile to retail and manufacturing—highlights the critical role of GPUs in enabling these advancements. NVIDIA’s strategic investments in AI and GPU technology and its emphasis on collaboration with cloud providers position the company at the forefront of this burgeoning AI market.

As Nvidia’s high-end server GPUs are essential for training and deploying large AI models, tech giants like Microsoft and Meta Platforms, Inc. (META) have spent billions of dollars buying these chips. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated his company is “building an absolutely massive amount of infrastructure” that will include 350,000 H100 GPU graphics cards to be delivered by NVDA by the end of 2024.

NVIDIA’s GPUs are sought after by several other tech companies for superior performance, including Amazon, Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL), and Tesla, Inc. (TSLA).

Notably, NVDA owns a 92% market share in data center GPUs. Led by Nvidia, U.S. tech companies dominate the burgeoning market for generative AI, with market shares of 70% to over 90% in chips and cloud services.

According to the Markets and Markets report, the data center GPU market is projected to value more than $63 billion by 2028, growing at an impressive CAGR of 34.6% during the forecast period (2024-2028). The rapidly rising adoption of data center GPUs across cloud providers should bode well for Nvidia.

Bottom Line

NVDA’s GPUs represent a game-changer for both cloud providers and investors, driven by superior performance and a compelling return on investment (ROI). The attractive financial benefits of investing in NVIDIA GPUs underscore their value, with cloud providers generating substantial profits from enhanced AI capabilities. This high ROI, particularly in AI inferencing tasks, positions Nvidia as a pivotal player in the burgeoning AI data center market, reinforcing its dominant market share and driving continued growth.

Moreover, Wall Street analysts remain bullish about this AI chipmaker’s prospects. TD Cowen analyst Matthew Ramsay increased his price target on NVDA stock from $140 to $165, while maintaining the Buy rating. “One thing remains the same: fundamental strength at Nvidia,” Ramsay said in a client note. “In fact, our checks continue to point to upside in data center (sales) as demand for Hopper/Blackwell-based AI systems continues to exceed supply.”

“Overall we see a product roadmap indicating a relentless pace of innovation across all aspects of the AI compute stack,” Ramsay added.

Meanwhile, KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst John Vinh reiterated his Overweight rating on NVIDIA stock with a price target of $180. “We expect Nvidia to deliver higher results and higher guidance” with its second-quarter 2025 report, Vinh said in a client note. He added solid demand for generative AI will drive the upside.

As AI applications expand across various key industries, NVIDIA’s continuous strategic innovations and product developments, such as the Blackwell GPU and NVIDIA Inference Microservices, ensure the company remains at the forefront of technological advancement. With a market cap nearing $4 trillion and a solid financial outlook, NVIDIA is well-poised to deliver substantial returns for investors, solidifying its standing as a leader in the AI and GPU technology sectors.

BP vs. OPEC: What Conflicting Oil Demand Projections Mean for Your Portfolio

The oil and gas industry is a cornerstone of the global energy landscape, powering everything from cars and factories to homes. It plays a vital role in our daily lives and the broader economy. Its equilibrium between supply and demand holds significant implications for energy security, economic stability, and environmental sustainability.

However, the industry's complexity has bred persistent imbalances and volatility, posing challenges for policymakers, industry stakeholders, and consumers. Various factors, including geological constraints on production, advancements in extraction and refining technology, changes in global energy policies, evolving consumer habits, and stricter environmental regulations, significantly influence the oil & gas market. This complex interplay makes predicting supply and demand trends a tricky business.

In recent years, the oil and gas sector has witnessed transformative shifts driven by advances in technology, changes in global energy policies, and shifts in consumer behavior. The rise of unconventional oil and gas production alongside investments in renewables and energy efficiency has reshaped the market landscape. But what’s next for the sector?

BP Thinks Oil Demand Is Dropping, But OPEC Sees It Going Up. What's the Deal?

In the latest Energy Outlook, BP p.l.c. (BP) paints a picture of declining oil demand. The company projects that global oil demand will peak at around 102 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2025, after which the decline will depend on how aggressively countries slash carbon emissions.

In the current trajectory, oil consumption is expected to decline gradually, reaching approximately 75 million bpd by 2050 due to advancements in vehicle efficiency and the increasing adoption of alternative fuels, led by the electrification of cars and trucks. Under BP’s more ambitious "Net Zero" scenario, the company envisions a drastic reduction in oil demand, potentially plummeting to as low as 25-30 million bpd by 2050. That’s a considerable drop, driven by a faster move towards renewable energy and smarter energy use.

On the other hand, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) maintains an optimistic outlook on global oil demand. According to its monthly outlook, OPEC foresees robust growth in oil demand, projecting an increase of 2.25 million bpd in 2024 and a further 1.85 million bpd in 2025. This forecast hinges on resilient economic growth, particularly in major economies, and sustained demand from sectors such as air travel.

OPEC’s stance underscores its expectation that oil will continue to play a pivotal role in meeting global energy needs despite increasing pressure for climate action. The agency also raised its forecast for world economic growth this year to 2.9% from 2.8%, citing positive momentum in non-OECD countries.

"Economic growth momentum in major economies remained resilient in the first half. This trend supports an overall positive growth trajectory in the near term," OPEC said.

Bottom Line: What could these conflicting forecasts mean for your portfolio?

OPEC's projections also contrast sharply with those of the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA). While OPEC expects robust demand growth, the IEA takes a more conservative stance, forecasting growth of only 960,000 barrels per day in 2024. The IEA also predicts that global oil demand will peak at 106 million bpd by 2029, reflecting a global shift towards greener energy alternatives and reduced oil consumption in road transportation.

These contrasting perspectives stem from differing priorities. OPEC members emphasize the importance of high oil demand to support economic growth and stability, while the IEA prioritizes climate commitments and the affordability of energy solutions. The widening disparity in their forecasts complicates investment decisions, leaving investors uncertain about current demand levels. OPEC reported that the first-quarter oil demand averaged 103.5 million barrels per day, whereas the IEA estimated it to be 101.7 million barrels per day.

As analysts navigate these varying outlooks, investors must make crucial decisions amid evolving energy trends and geopolitical shifts. Understanding these divergences is essential for strategizing and aligning your portfolio with future market directions.

Navigating the ebb and flow of supply and demand in the oil and gas industry is the key to making smart investment moves. Geopolitical tensions, technological breakthroughs, and shifting market dynamics all shape these intricate patterns. Stakeholders who stay vigilant on these fronts can steer through market volatility and pinpoint promising opportunities.

Considering the sector's relatively bullish outlook, it could be wise for investors to scoop the shares of fundamentally sound energy stocks such as Secure Energy Services Inc. (SECYF), Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE), and Energy Transfer LP (ET). Conversely, stocks with weaker fundamentals, like EQT Corporation (EQT) and Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK), may warrant caution.

Investing Amidst the $100B China Chip War

In a move set to reshape the global semiconductor landscape, China's ambitious $100 billion investment spree into its semiconductor industry is poised to disrupt Western chipmakers’ foothold in the lucrative Chinese market.

According to a recent report by the European Commission highlighted by Bloomberg, concerns are mounting over the potential erosion of market share for companies like NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NXPI), Infineon Technologies AG (IFNNY), and ASML Holding N.V. (ASML). These firms, pivotal players in microcontroller technology essential for automobiles, industrial applications, and consumer electronics, face intensifying competition from burgeoning Chinese counterparts.

The European Commission's report underscores that China's strategic maneuvers, including non-tariff barriers and local content requirements, could favor domestic microcontroller manufacturers. This advantage is particularly potent in China's burgeoning electric vehicle market, posing challenges for European and Japanese chip suppliers.

Moreover, China's aggressive investment surge follows heightened geopolitical tensions, including U.S. sanctions limiting Chinese access to high-end chips. Despite these restrictions, China has reportedly found alternative routes to procure U.S. technology, underscoring its determination to achieve semiconductor independence. As China makes aggressive investments in semiconductor fabrication plants and encourages local procurement of key semiconductor components, the ripple effects are felt globally.

Investors navigating this evolving landscape should consider diversifying across sectors and exploring resilient segments within tech. Despite China's semiconductor ambitions and geopolitical tensions, investing in solid companies like Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) and Intel Corporation (INTC) could provide stability and growth potential.

Let’s look at the fundamentals of the abovementioned stocks in detail:

Stocks to Buy:

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)

Prominent chip giant AMD offers x86 microprocessors, graphics processing units (GPUs), and innovative solutions across Data Center, Client, Gaming, and Embedded segments. AMD also develops embedded processors, semi-custom system-on-chip (SoC) products, and advanced technologies like field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) and adaptive SoCs.

In the first quarter that ended March 30, 2024. AMD’s net revenue increased 2.2% year-over-year to $5.47 billion. Both its Data Center and Client segments experienced substantial growth, each exceeding 80% year-over-year, fueled by the uptake of MI300 AI accelerators and the popularity of Ryzen and EPYC processors.

Moreover, the company’s non-GAAP operating income grew 3.2% from the year-ago value to $1.13 billion. Its non-GAAP net income and earnings per share rose 4.4% and 3.3% from the prior-year quarter to $1.01 billion and $0.62, respectively.

Street expects AMD’s revenue for the second quarter (ended June 2024) to increase 6.7% year-over-year to $5.72 billion. Its EPS for the to-be-reported quarter is projected to reach $0.68, registering a 17.2% year-over-year growth. Moreover, the company surpassed the consensus revenue estimates in each of the trailing four quarters.

Intel Corporation (INTC)

INTC designs manufactures, and markets a wide range of computing products globally, including CPUs, GPUs, memory, and connectivity solutions. Known for its microprocessors, Intel powers PCs, servers, and emerging technologies across cloud, network, and edge computing platforms. It operates through segments including Client Computing Group, Data Center and AI, Network and Edge, Mobileye, and Intel Foundry Services.

The company delivered robust performance in the first quarter of 2024 (ended March 30), driven by solid innovation across its client, edge, and data center portfolios. Total Intel Products generated $11.90 billion in revenue, resulting in a 17% year-over-year increase. Revenue from the Client Computing Group (CCG) rose 31% year-over-year.

INTC’s net revenue increased 8.6% year-over-year to $12.72 billion, while its Data Center and AI (DCAI) division’s sales rose 5% to $3.04 billion. Also, the company reported a non-GAAP operating income of $723 million, compared to an operating loss of $294 million in the prior year’s quarter. Further, its non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP earnings per share came in at $759 million and $0.18 versus a net loss and loss per share of $169 million and $0.04, respectively, in the same quarter last year.

Analysts expect INTC’s revenue for the second quarter (ended June 2024) to increase marginally year-over-year to $13.02 billion. However, the consensus EPS estimate of $0.10 for the same period indicates a 19.5% year-over-year decline. Nevertheless, the company has an impressive surprise history, beating the consensus revenue estimates in three of the trailing four quarters.

Stocks to Sell:

NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NXPI)

NXPI, based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, specializes in a diverse range of semiconductor products. Its portfolio features microcontrollers, communication processors, analog and interface devices, radio frequency power amplifiers, security controllers, and semiconductor-based environmental and inertial sensors.

For the first quarter that ended March 31, 2024, NXPI’s total revenue declined 8.6% sequentially to $3.13 billion. The company’s non-GAAP operating income fell 11.4% from the last quarter to $1.08 billion. Also, NXPI’s non-GAAP net income attributable to stockholders came in at $840 million and $3.24 per common share, down 13% and 12.7% from the preceding quarter, respectively.

Street expects NXPI’s revenue and EPS for the second quarter (ended June 2024) to decrease 5.2% and 6.5% year-over-year to $3.13 billion and $3.21, respectively. This downward trajectory is forecasted to persist throughout fiscal year 2024, with revenue and EPS expected to decrease by 1.5% and 0.3%, respectively.

Infineon Technologies AG (IFNNY)

Headquartered in Neubiberg, Germany, IFNNY is a global semiconductor leader specializing in power systems and IoT. The company drives decarbonization and digitalization with its innovative semiconductor solutions across four key segments: Automotive, Green Industrial Power, Power & Sensor Systems, and Connected Secure Systems.

During the fiscal second quarter that ended March 31, 2024, IFNNY’s revenue decreased 11.8% year-over-year to €3.63 billion ($3.94 billion), while gross profit fell by 26.9% from the year-ago value to €1.40 billion ($1.52 billion). The company’s operating profit stood at €496 million ($538.38 million), down 53.8% year-over-year.

In addition, adjusted profit for the period from continuing operations attributable to shareholders of IFNNY and adjusted EPS amounted to €551 million ($598.08 million) and €0.42, respectively, reflecting a 38.8% and 39.1% decrease from the prior-year quarter.

For the quarter ended June 2024, IFNNY’s EPS is expected to decrease 39.8% year-over-year to $0.45. Its revenue for the same quarter is expected to fall 8.2% from the prior year to $4.11 billion. Analysts project a further 7.5% decline in revenue and a 30.8% decrease in EPS for fiscal year 2024.

ASML Holding N.V. (ASML)

Based in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML manufactures essential semiconductor equipment for global chipmakers. It focuses on lithography, metrology, and inspection systems, including advanced solutions like extreme ultraviolet and deep ultraviolet lithography. These technologies support semiconductor production across diverse technological ranges.

ASML’s total net sales for the first quarter that ended March 31, 2024, decreased 21.6% year-over-year to €5.29 billion ($5.74 billion). Its income from operations fell 36.9% from the year-ago value to €1.39 billion ($1.51 billion), while its net income declined 37.4% from the prior year’s quarter to €1.22 billion ($1.33 billion). In addition, the company’s net income per ordinary share stood at €3.11, down 37.2% year-over-year.

Analysts expect ASML’s revenue and EPS for the second quarter (ended June 2024) to decline by 15.6% and 27.7% year-over-year to $6.53 billion and $3.99, respectively. Likewise, the company’s EPS for the fiscal year 2024 is expected to decline 4.5% from the previous year to $20.67.