Chip giant Intel turned in higher than expected first quarter earnings, calming fears that PC sales may be hitting a major down turn.
Intel reported turnover of $7.1 billion for the three months ended 27 March 1999, up 18 per cent on Q1 1998 turnover of $6 billion.
Profit for the quarter rose 57 per cent to $1.99 billion, or 57 cents per share, from $1.27 billion, or 36 cents a share, a year earlier, beating analysts expectations of 55 cents a share. However, profit was down seven per cent on the prior quarter.
Citing seasonal slowness, the company said that it expected its second quarter turnover to be flatter. The second quarter is typically slower than the first.
"As we expected, revenue declined from the prior quarter, reflecting a seasonally slower selling period," Intel chief executive Craig Barrett said in a statement. "We are seeing positive results from the launch of new products across all segments," he said.
Intel launched several new processors in the quarter, such as the Pentium III processor and Pentium III Xeon chips for workstations and servers, as well as higher-speed versions of its Celeron processors for low-cost computers and mobile Pentium II processors.
Intel's higher than forecast earnings came after Compaq, the world's largest PC manufacturer said that its first quarter earnings could be half Wall Street's predictions. It blamed this on weaker global demand for PCs and stiff competition in the market.
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