The tech giant made 33 cents per share in Q3 on an adjusted basis. That figure was 15 cents higher than the previous quarter's per-share income. In addition, it was much higher than analyst opinion. Wall Street was betting on 27 cents per share. Shareholders should be more than pleased by that comparison. Revenue also expanded sequentially, although it did go down when looked at from a year-over-year perspective.
Investors don't care about year-over-year any longer it seems. They want quarter-to-quarter bang for their capital buck. And when it comes to Intel, they want excellent performance in the gross margin. According to the corporate press release, gross margin came in higher than internal expectations. The outlook calls for the metric to be even higher in the fourth quarter.
Intel hit a new 52-week high earlier today on the earnings data. In fact, Intel apparently helped everyone get in the mood to push the Dow to 10,000 (it happened about a few minutes before I wrote this sentence; after reaching the psychological level, the index began to retreat from it; where it will end up at the close of the trading day is anybody's guess).
If you're trading Intel and have a paper profit with your position, I would sell into the strength. After all, the whole point of short-term trading is to capture short-term gains, right?
I am bullish on Intel for the long term, however. The fundamentals for the company are improving, business is doing well, and institutional investors will most likely continue to support the stock. Of course, expect bumps along the way. Whenever a stock hits a new 52-week high, especially after an earnings report, there's always the possibility for consolidation. It's something to keep in mind when dealing with Intel. Nevertheless, my feelings are overall positive on the company at this time.
Disclosure: I don't own any company mentioned; positions can change without notice.