Intel shares fall after Barclays downgrades chipmaker due to rising AMD competition

Dado Ruvic | Reuters

Intel's technology leadership in the semiconductor industry is growing more uncertain, according to Barclays.

The firm lowered its rating to equal weight from overweight for Intel shares, saying the chipmaker needs to prove that its next generation of chips will perform better than AMD's offerings.

"We see risk of moderation in PC/server end markets, which have already outperformed, while the storyline is hampered by much uncertainty remaining around competition, process nodes/roadmaps, as well as the new CEO," analyst Blayne Curtis said in a note to clients Monday. "Intel continues to believe that it can retain a performance advantage even with a process node disadvantage, but has provided little evidence to support this, creating an overhang well into 2019."

Intel shares closed down 0.06 percent Monday after the report. Its stock is up 6.9 percent this year through Friday versus the S&P 500's 6.2 percent return.

Curtis lowered his price target for Intel shares to $53 from $62, representing 7 percent upside to Friday's close.

Intel said last month its 10-nanometer chips will be released for holiday 2019 compared with AMD's 7-nanonmeter products' launch later this year.

One nanometer equals one-billionth of a meter. Smaller nanometer chipmaking technologies historically have allowed companies to create faster, more power-efficient chips.

The analyst noted Intel's problems in moving to its next-generation chip manufacturing technology.

"The entire competitive argument has been reduced to a comparison of process nodes and the burden is on Intel to change this storyline, which they have not to date," he said.

Intel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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