By Chibuike Oguh
NEW YORK (Reuters) -Shares of Intel rose by nearly 7% on Thursday, hitting their highest level in 17 months, after Mizuho Securities upgraded its rating on the semiconductor maker's stock to "buy," citing prospects of increased revenue from forthcoming chips and new production facilities.
Intel is set to unveil a new data center and artificial intelligence chips in 2024, expected to be one of its most "prolific product launch in years", as well as open new chip-making facilities called foundries, Mizuho analysts, led by automotive and semiconductor specialist Vijay Rakesh, said in an investor note on Wednesday.
Mizuho upgraded Intel's stock to "buy" from "neutral" and raised its price target on the shares to $50 from $37.
Intel shares rose as high as $43.39, the highest since June 2022, and closed up 6.7% to $43.35 on Thursday. The stock has now gained 64% year-to-date.
"We believe (Intel) is lining up significant new server product launches and foundry customer announcements in the next six months," the analysts wrote.
The median price target of 44 analysts covering Intel is $38, up from $35.50 in October, and the consensus recommendation on the stock is "hold", according to LSEG data.
Intel competes for market share with other prominent chipmakers including Nvidia, Broadcom Inc, Advanced Micro Devices, and Samsung Electronics.
(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; additional reporting by Purvi Agarwal in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra and Bill Berkrot)