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Argus Ups Target to $34 on Ultrabook Promise

Argus Research’s Jim Kelleher this afternoon reiterates a Buy rating on shares of Intel (INTC) while raising his price target to $34 from $29, writing that “investors have not yet fully grasped the importance” of Intel’s big push for “ultrabook” laptops this year.

Writes Kelleher, the “conventional wisdom” that the the PC is ‘dead’ could turn out wrong:

The PC is ‘dead’ – which really means growing slowly but eclipsed by tablets and specifically iPad. Conventional wisdom can be dangerous, but more often has the annoying habit of being correct. The conventional wisdom that the PC is dead, however, is about to challenged – furiously challenged – by a collective PC industry approach around Ultrabook that is concerted, technologically well-supported, and driven by motives ranging from profits (Intel) to desperation (H-P).

The combination of Intel’s forthcoming 22-nanometer “Ivy Bridge” PC microprocessor, using its unique “tri-gate” three-dimensional chip technology, may finally give the PC market the response it needs to counter the iPad:

Intel had hoped to ramp the ‘tri-gate’ 3D-transistor-based Ivy Bridge into Ultrabooks shipping in April 2012. We now expect this ramp to be pushed out to June 2012, but no later. Digitimes recently reported that Taiwan’s Computex show slated for June 2012 will be loaded with Ivy Bridge-equipped Ultrabooks. At least some will also be equipped with beta-version Windows 8.


Intel is highly motivated to see Ultrabook succeed. At least in our viewing area (NYC metro), both cable and broadcast TV are being blanketed with Ultrabook ads. One popular ad shows travelers sprawled on the floor as close as possible to electrical outlets and an airline counter employee lamenting, ‘How did it come to this?’ She invokes the travelers to rise, meaning buy Ultrabooks with much longer batter lives. If Intel is motivated, certain Ultrabook eco-system members are desperate. Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd purchased Palm for reasons we may never know. Hurd’s successor Leo Apotheker first proclaimed that Palm’s WebOS would go into every PC H-P made; a few months later he scrapped WebOS altogether. H-P’s Playbook was dead on arrival.
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