Intel gets an upgrade at Jefferies on hopes change is coming

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Shares of Intel Corp. are up 1.9% in Tuesday morning trading after Jefferies analyst Mark Lipacis abandoned his bearish call on the stock, upgrading it to hold from underperform while raising his price target to $64 from $40. “Share loss, a transistor transition disaster, changing of the management guard, and a CEO bonus that inflects with the stock in the low $60s tell us the table is set for change at Intel,” he wrote. “We increase our price target to $64 assuming that the company divests memory…and cuts operating expenditures,” Lipacis wrote. Those two activities would represent a shift toward greater focus and frugality, he said. His third F theme for the company is “fabless,” and while he estimates that the sale of Intel’s factories could help it “close the transistor gap with AMD ” and boost earnings, he sees a low probability that the company will go this route in the near term. Intel shares have climbed 16% in the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 9%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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