Intel posted better-than-expected earning for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, as PC sales weren’t as weak as forecast.
Analysts were expecting a consensus of 45 cents a share in the fourth quarter, down 30 percent from 64 cents a share a year ago. Those analysts expected revenue to fall 0.9% year-over-year to $13.76 billion for the quarter, compared to $13.89 billion a year ago. Intel posted earnings per share of 48 cents a share and revneues of $13.5 billion. So the earnings were better while revenues matched expectations.
Intel’s earnings are closely watched as a bellwether for the computer industry’s health, as well as the overall tech industry. But, like Microsoft, Intel is heavily weighted on chips for PCs, even as market demand shifts to smartphones and tablets. While those latter sectors are growing, PCs are believed to have fallen 5 percent in unit sales in the fourth quarter, according to market research firm Gartner.
“The fourth quarter played out largely as expected as we continued to execute through a challenging environment,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and chief executive, in a statement. “We made tremendous progress across the business in 2012 as we entered the market for smartphones and tablets, worked with our partners to reinvent the PC, and drove continued innovation and growth in the data center. As we enter 2013, our strong product pipeline has us well positioned to bring a new wave of Intel innovations across the spectrum of computing.”
Intel is shifting to meet mobile device demand. It has created laptop chips that dissipate as little as 7 watts, and its code-named Haswell processor coming mid-year is expected to be even better at power consumption. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Intel said it was working with seven major vendors of smartphones who have launched Intel-based smartphones in 25 countries. But the revenue from those deals is a drop in the bucket compared to the revenues Intel gets from the PC chip business.
In the past four quarters, Intel’s revenue has been mixed. It fell 5.5 percent in the third quarter, rose 3.6 percent in the second quarter, was flat at 0.5% in the first quarter, and soared 21.2 percent in the fourth quarter a year ago. Net income fell in each of the last three quarters. In third quarter, net income fell 14.3 percent from the year earlier. Second quarter net income was down 4.3 percent, and first quarter earnings were down 13.4 percent.
Comments are disabled on this post