RealTime IT News

Intel Q4 Crushes Wall Street Expectations

It's been 12 months since the disastrous fourth quarter of 2008, where Intel saw its revenue fall by 20 percent and the company nearly reported a loss as the economy imploded and buying came to a screeching halt. One year later, the chip giant is now leading the way to recovery with revenues and profits that exceeded projections.

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) today reported fourth-quarter revenue of $10.6 billion and net income of $2.3 billion, or earnings per share of $0.40. That's a 28 percent improvement in revenue income and 875 percent improvement in net income from the fourth quarter of 2008.

Even more remarkably, that net profit comes after a $1.25 billion payment from Intel's settlement with AMD (NYSE: AMD).

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Intel to post earnings of $1.9 billion, or $0.30 per share on sales of $10.2 billion for the quarter. In Q4 2008, Intel posted revenue of $8.2 billion and income of $234,000.

For fiscal 2009, Intel posted a net income of $4.4 billion, or 77 cents per share, on revenue of $35.1 billion. That's a 7 percent drop in revenue and 17 percent drop in net income versus 2008 -- but it's also comparing three strong quarter of 2008 and one bad one (the fourth) versus a 2009 that started terribly and slowly rebuilt over the year.

"Intel's strong 2009 results reflect our investment in industry-leading manufacturing and product innovation," Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini said in a statement. "This strategy has enabled us to generate unprecedented operating efficiencies while growing our traditional businesses and creating exciting new market opportunities, even in difficult economic times."

Revenue was up across the board in the fourth quarter, with PC client sales up 10 percent, datacenter sales up 21 percent, other Intel Architecture up 22 percent, and Intel Atom and chipset revenue up six percent, all sequentially from Q3.

For the first quarter of 2010, Intel projects revenue $9.7 billion, plus or minus $400 million, with gross margin of 61 percent, plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Intel will host a conference call with analysts later today to discuss the earnings.

Andy Patrizio is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.