Intel Corp’s shares hit their highest in nearly two decades on Friday after cloud computing demand fired up the chipmaker’s data center business and allayed concerns of market share loss to rival AMD, lifting stocks across the sector.
At least 15 brokerages raised their price targets on Intel’s stock, with J.P.Morgan making the most aggressive move by boosting its target by $12 to $80, well above the median price target of $65.
Revenue at Intel’s data center business jumped 19 per cent and sales to cloud computing providers surged 48 per cent year-over-year in the fourth quarter.
“We think Intel is benefiting from an improving macro economic climate versus company specific improvements at this time,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves said, adding that he expects strong results from data center rivals AMD and Nvidia.
Shares of AMD, which will report earnings next week, rose 1 per cent to a record high. Nvidia shares were also up 1 per cent. European chipmakers ASML Holding NV and STMicroelectricals NV rose almost 2 per cent.
Intel’s stock was up 8.6 per cent at $68.75, a level it has not seen since the peak of the dotcom boom in 2000, propelling the broader Nasdaq and the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index to record highs.