Semiconductor stocks just had a great year \u2014with the notable exception of industry giant Intel (Intel Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts NASDAQ:INTC), that is, which dropped 17 per cent in 2020. And while better times may be ahead for the company, the pastures may be greener with other sector leaders, says portfolio manager Brendan Caldwell, who likes both Qualcomm (Qualcomm Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts NASDAQ:QCOM) and Broadcom (Broadcom Stock Quote, Chart, News, Analysts NASDAQ:AVGO). 2020 was definitely A Tale of Two Intels, in a year which saw the chipmaker deliver more than respectable quarterly numbers, often surprising with stronger-then-expected earnings and revenue in the challenging COVID-19-related environment. Yet, at the same time, the market seemed to paint a different picture of the company, one focused on potential chinks in the armour, a transitional period and rising competition in the chip space. A report surfaced last month that longtime Intel customer Microsoft had plans to bring its semiconductor designing in-house, news which promptly dropped INTC\u2019s share price about ten per cent. Last year also saw Apple break with Intel, further troubling investors about the company\u2019s growth prospects, while Intel\u2019s management seemed to consistently underwhelm in its guidance. For the upcoming fourth quarter results, for instance, Intel expects to see revenue drop by 14 per cent. Overall, in a year where chip companies posted returns of over 50 per cent on average, Intel was a clear laggard, enough to bring out the critics, one of note being Daniel Loeb of Third Point, which reportedly took a $1-billion position in Intel only recently. In a Reuters report at the end of December, Loeb was said to have penned a letter to Intel\u2019s board urging the company to explore strategic alternatives including outsourcing more of its manufacturing. Loeb said the company was losing out in the human capital race as chip designers were flocking to competitor companies like Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing. \u201cWithout immediate change at Intel, we fear that America\u2019s access to leading-edge semiconductor supply will erode, forcing the U.S. to rely more heavily on a geopolitically unstable East Asia to power everything from PCs to data centers to critical infrastructure and more,\u201d said Loeb in his letter. Intel, which has a market cap of $204 billion, said in a statement that it \u201clooked forward to engaging with Third Point LLC on their ideas\u201d on enhancing shareholder value. Intel\u2019s share price rose on news of the letter. Caldwell, CEO of Caldwell Investment Management, said while Intel is likely a solid stock to own, investors may do better off in the space through other names. \u201cIntel, of course, was one of those classic chip manufacturers that really got the NASDAQ exchange going 40 years ago when the New York Stock Exchange wouldn\u2019t list those upstart companies,\u201d said Caldwell, speaking on BNN Bloomberg on Thursday. \u201cOur preference would be more for some of the chips that are used in in different areas rather than Intel. Intel has done well but something like a Qualcomm or Broadcom \u2014these are the chip manufacturers that we actually own in our portfolios.\u201d \u201cI do think that the demand for technology and the demand for chips is going to be strong and Intel's going to continue to do well, along with the sector. But I think a couple of these other names that we own will probably do better,\u201d he said. \u201cYou\u2019re not going to do badly in owning Intel \u2014I\u2019ve got clients that own it and it\u2019s going to be fine\u2014 but I think a couple of the other names might do better going forward,\u201d Caldwell said. Morgan Stanley analyst Joseph Moore is also hesitant about Intel\u2019s growth prospects in 2021, where the analyst currently has an \u201cEqual Weight\u201d rating on the stock and a $60 per share target. Moore said investor confidence in the name is important but that customer confidence in the company\u2019s products and roadmap for the future is a more central issue. \u201cWhile we do see paths to value creation relative to the current path, the challenges in 2021 still look substantial,\u201d said Moore. Raymond James analyst Chris Caso reiterated his \u201cMarket Perform\u201d rating for Intel after its last quarterly earnings, saying the company urgently needs a plan to right the ship. \u201cWe still find it difficult to be too negative near-term due to widely negative sentiment and before details of the recovery plan are revealed,\u201d said Caso. A similar sentiment came later last year from portfolio manager Nancy Tengler of Laffer Tengler Investment, who in conversation with CNBC said while Intel\u2019s quarterly numbers seem acceptable, the question mark of its chip manufacturing business still lingers and investors should consider whether owning Intel during this transition period is the right idea. \u201cWhat investors have to ask themselves is the opportunity cost \u2014 is it worth it? There are plenty of other good places to be. We do not own this in our growth strategies . We do own it in our income strategies and we\u2019re going to take a fresh look at it because enough already,\u201d said Tengler.