Goldman Sachs upgraded Intel (INTC) to outperform from in-line. It also lifted its recommendation for Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Applied Materials (AMAT), and SanDisk (SNDK) to in-line.
Analyst James Covello says while the fundamentals and stocks are likely to be choppy for a while, he believes long-term investors can now overweight selected stocks. On Intel, he notes PC fundamentals are likely to remain weak, and cut his 2006 and 2007 EPS estimates, but he would buy Intel given valuation and likely share gains.
For AMD, he says losses are likely, but would cover shorts as the stock is at his $25 fair value.
For SanDisk, Covello says near-term downside catalysts are behind us, and the stock is closer to fair value.
For Applied Materials, the focus is on EPS expansion through operational controls and lower sharecount.