Intel shares are ripping, and one trader says its heading back toward highs

Intel is back in favor on Wall Street.

The stock ripped higher on Friday after Morgan Stanley turned bullish on the chipmaker for the first time in seven years, upgrading it to overweight. The firm citing the permanent transition of Robert Swan as CEO, as well as a number of other fundamental developments for its new price target of $64 – which implies more than 24 percent upside from the stock's current levels.

Piper Jaffray's senior technical research analyst Craig Johnson, who's a fan of the semiconductor space, also believes the stock is heading to new highs. Johnson's charting reveals shares of Intel have maintained its uptrend over the past couple of years and are "setting up to retest the old highs at around $60."

"Usually when you get to the old highs in a market as strong as it is right now, you're going to push through," Johnson said Friday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." "You're going to push through, so we would be a buyer of the stock here and anticipate a retest of those highs."

Intel shares are less than 10 percent from its 52-week high of $57.60 set in June but were still well off their all-time high of $75.83 hit during the dot-com bubble.

Despite the vote of confidence from Morgan Stanley, Mark Tepper of Strategic Wealth Partners believes Intel looks more like a value trap. Tepper notes that while its data center business is a positive, fiercer competition is a major headwind.

"Intel is seeing weaker sales in those server chips and that's because all their competitors are eating their lunch," Tepper said on "Trading Nation" on Friday. "If they're not crushing it in the data center group I have very little interest in the computing side of the business, which makes up 53 percent of sales, so I'd be looking elsewhere."

Intel reported 13 percent revenue growth for fiscal 2018 with 20 percent growth in its data-centric businesses.

Correction: This story was revised to deleted the incorrect reference to the level of Intel's previous high.


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Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET). In addition, he contributes to CNBC and CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

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