Intel has reported a seven per cent increase in quarterly sales for the last three months of 2001, but both the chip giant and analysts have said that the figures should not be taken as an indicator of an economic recovery.
Chief financial officer Andy Bryant said in a conference call last night: "A year that began with economic decline ended on a note of stability." 2001 had been a rough year for the chip manufacturer as PC sales slumped worldwide.
The company earned £693m ($998m) after acquisitions, or 15 cents a share, beating Wall Street estimates of 11 cents a share.
Bryant said that the success was down to strong sales of its Pentium 4 microprocessor, but warned that revenues in the first three months of 2002 could be nine per cent down on yesterday's figures.
Eric Ross, senior research analyst for market watcher Thomas Weisel Partners, said that the results did not signify an immediate upturn, as fourth quarters traditionally show strong revenue. But he did indicate that a recovery should be seen in the second half of this year.
"What we're seeing is a return to normal seasonality," he explained. "Intel's revenues have been down in the first quarters of all the last five years, so it's not unusual. I expect an upturn in the second half going into 2003."
Chip rival AMD will release its results in the US later today, but was unwilling to hint as to how it compared.
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