Intel earnings zoom up 48 percent

The world's largest chipmaker reports fourth-quarter profit of $3.39 billion, up by almost half over the same period last year, while revenue rises slightly.

Microprocessor heavyweight Intel today posted a 48 percent jump in net income over the same period last year on strong server demand, while revenue was up slightly.

The world's largest chipmaker reported fourth-quarter profit of $3.39 billion, or 59 cents a share, a 48 percent increase over the same period last year when it reported a profit of $2.28 billion, or 40 cents a share.

Revenue for the quarter, which ended December 25, was up 8 percent to $11.46 billion, from $10.57 billion. Analysts had expected revenue of $11.38 billion.

Gross margin, a key profit indicator, was 67.5 percent, slightly above the company's expectation.

"Demand strength in the enterprise market segment, specifically the server market segment, led to record microprocessor revenue," said chief financial officer Stacy Smith, in a statement. In the fourth quarter, Data Center Group revenue was up 15 percent sequentially.

The three-month period capped a strong year for Intel overall. "2010 was the best year in Intel's history. We believe that 2011 will be even better," CEO Paul Otellini said in a statement.

For the first quarter of 2011, Intel expects revenue of $11.5 billion, give or take $400 million. Gross margin percentage is expected to drop to 64 percent, plus or minus a couple of percentage points.

Reports from market researchers IDC and Gartner Wednesday point to some worrisome trends in the PC market. Growth missed both firms' expectations and IDC said increasing competition from tablets like Apple's iPad is denting growth.

Full-Year 2010 Results:

  • Revenue: $43.6 billion, up $8.5 billion, 24 percent increase year-over-year
  • Gross margin: 66 percent, up 10 percentage points
  • Net income: $11.7 billion, up $7.3 billion, or 167 percent
  • EPS: $2.05, up $1.28, or 166 percent
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