Intel Just Opened a Buy-In Window

Intel (NAS: INTC) shares are in freefall today. Share prices have fallen nearly 5% in heavy trading as the chip giant slashed guidance for the current quarter.

Is that the right market reaction, or a knee-jerk overreaction? As you'll see later, when I make an opportunistic CAPScall on the stock, I think investors are staring themselves blind at the bad news.

Citing hard-drive shortages due to flooding in Thailand, Intel lowered its revenue guidance by $1 billion to around $13.5 billion. Moreover, gross margins will come up thin in the fourth quarter as Intel's factories really work best when running full speed ahead.

OK, so that's a little scary. But then you're ignoring the other half of this story: Two quarters of hard-drive shortages should lead into "a rebuilding of microprocessor inventories as supplies of hard disk drives recover during the first half of 2012."

That's the silver lining in this cloud.

And it makes perfect sense when you think about it. Western Digital (NYS: WDC) and, to a lesser degree, Seagate Technologies (NAS: STX) can't meet demand for hard drives at the moment because factories and supply chains need to be rebuilt. But this state of affairs won't last forever.

When hard-drive volumes go back up to normal levels, system builders including Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) and Dell (NAS: DELL) will once again have all the parts they need. If you're holding off on a computer purchase today because this shortage has inflated system prices, you'll simply buy what you need a few months down the road.

So if you've wanted to buy Intel shares but held your itchy trigger finger as share prices jumped 30% since late August, here's a small correction that helps you get a better buy-in price. Intel is a tremendously strong business that will bounce back with a vengeance, so I'd suggest that you take advantage of this opportunity.

That's why I'm putting my CAPS rating on the line with a big, green thumb on Intel today.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Western Digital and Intel. The Fool owns shares of and has bought calls on Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Dell and Intel, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.

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