After Intel completed its $15 billion tender offer to buy Mobileye on Tuesday, Jim Cramer wondered whether the deal was a sign that the tech giant was making a serious comeback.
"For years, we watched as Intel hung out on the fringes of the great markets, great markets like mobile devices, the internet of things, anything Apple [and] the autonomous car," the "Mad Money" host said.
With its purchase of Mobileye, an Israeli tech company specializing in self-driving technology and collision prevention, Intel is entering the autonomous driving space with one of its top innovators under its wing.
Intel is also reportedly seizing on the rift between chipmaker Qualcomm and Apple by supplying semiconductor chips and modems for Apple's tablets and, potentially, the new Apple Watch.
"I cannot stress enough just how important this is for the company that pioneered the microprocessor for the personal computer," Cramer said.
That said, Intel has had a "mixed" record with takeovers, Cramer said. It acquired cybersecurity firm McAfee in 2011, spinning it off this April as a standalone, $4.2 billion company.
Intel also acquired high-end chip designer Altera to strengthen its artificial intelligence efforts via a Programmable Solutions Group, which struggled in Intel's latest quarter.
"If you ask me, both [acquisitions] have just been OK," the "Mad Money" host said. "In fact, they spun off McAfee for a lower valuation than I thought they could get."
But Intel CEO Brian Krzanich told Eyes On Events's "Squawk on the Street" on Tuesday that he would be directly involved in Mobileye's integration due to the high potential of the purchase.
Cramer said Intel's toughest competitor will probably be Nvidia, the top-notch chipmaker involved in deals with the likes of Tesla and Apple.
Krzanich suggested on Tuesday that Intel could compete with Nvidia's prices by combining its internet of things business with Mobileye to create a connected car package.
"It sounds like there's a very real possibility that Intel could truly take some solid business from Nvidia, although the market's big enough for both, if you ask me," Cramer said.
Krzanich also acknowledged the comeback of another semiconductor rival, Advanced Micro Devices, but said that Intel would strike back with its own competing chips later this year.
So while many have been quick to label Intel as undistinguished, Cramer found that with a stock trading at 12 times earnings estimates and a 3 percent yield, Intel could actually be one of the stock market's great bargains.
"Sure, it will be hard to beat Nvidia. Yes, AMD is rejuvenated. Absolutely, PCs are in decline," the "Mad Money" host said. "But Krzanich sees all that and is doing something about it. I don't know, if you ask me, for $36 bucks, it's worth a ticket to see how he does."
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