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J.P. Morgan H&Q says investors should buy Intel (INTC
) shares ahead of its fourth quarter earnings report the week of Jan. 14.
Analyst Eric Chen says a number of data points from PC and motherboard manufacturers in Taiwan suggest the December PC sell-through had been strong. Suppliers to Dell, Compaq, IBM, NEC, and Sony all received rushed orders late in December, in both the desktop and mobile areas, he says.
Independently, anecdotes indicate that Intel's server business in the first quarter could be unseasonably strong - possibly sequentially up, he says. Chen notes that his estimate that Intel's revenue will decline 5% sequentially in the first quarter is "realistic to conservative." He has a buy rating on the stock.