Last week, a giant of the computer revolution died. Andrew Grove, who passed away at age 79, was the former long-time CEO and chairman of Intel (INTC), the world's largest semiconductor manufacturer.
With Bill Gates of Microsoft (MSFT), Grove created a remarkably powerful duopoly made up of Intel's chips and Microsoft's software, which drove the personal computer to technological supremacy. So tightly joined where the two companies -- and so influential -- that industry watchers had a name for the partnership, Wintel. That name was a hybrid of Microsoft's Windows operating system and Intel.
Grove, who was born in Hungary and came to this country as a teenager, was known for more than his stewardship of Intel. His influence extended well beyond the company's executive suites.
Time magazine, in naming him "Man of the Year" in 1997, touted him as being the person most responsible for the "innovative potential" of microchips. Apple's (AAPL) late founder Steve Jobs, for example, was known to seek his counsel. And in last year's Harvard Business School publication, Michael Blanding wrote, "If there were a Mount Rushmore for technological innovation, Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs would be the faces looking outward."
Grove was well known for proclaiming, "only the paranoid survive," and used this phrase as the title of his best-selling management book. Perhaps unique among tech titans, he also wrote a moving memoir that told the story about his experiences growing up as a Jew in Hungary during World War II and his escaping to the United States during the Hungarian Revolution in 1956.
While some may question the need to pay attention to Andy Grove and his accomplishments beyond his towering place in tech history, it's important to remember Grove because of the company he helped to build. Intel today remains a technological powerhouse and a company every investor should pay attention to.
True, Intel was a bit late to the mobile party, lacking a dominant presence in such markets as mobile telephones, but it remains a microprocessor behemoth that benefits from its economies of scale and R&D prowess. It is a formidable competitor in virtually all of its markets.
In addition, an investment strategy that I created also mirrors the investment philosophy of James P. O'Shaughnessy, a strong supporter of Intel as an investment opportunity. This strategy requires companies to meet, or beat, a variety of benchmarks, such as having a large market cap. Intel's market cap is humongous at $150 billion, and it has a strong cash flow per share. The chip giant also has a large number of outstanding shares, as well as sizable revenue that tops $55 billion.
In addition to passing over these hurdles, the strategy also calls for giving a high recommendation to the top 50 companies that offer an attractive dividend yield. Intel's 3.2% yield gives it a spot in this coveted group. Andy Grove may be gone, but the company he was so instrumental in creating lives on and continues to thrive.