Intel surpassed analyst estimates for the third quarter ending 26 September, with $0.89 earnings per share, rather than the anticipated $0.09. Income was $1.6 billion and revenue was up 9 per cent to $6.7 billion.
Q4 will be slightly ahead of Q3, it forecasts. Capital expenditure for the FY is now expected to be down around $400 million on earlier estimates, to $4.2 billion.
Intel had originally forecast its Q3 revenue would be flat, but subsequently amended this to a gain of 8 to 10 per cent. In the event, revenue was up 14 per cent to an all-time quarterly record, with unit shipments of microprocessors and chip sets also at an all-time high. The gross margin went above 50 per cent again, to 53 per cent.
After hours trading sent the share price down, which was surprising as the results were so much better than anticipated. This may have been a reaction to Intel's cautious expectation for Q4 revenue to be marginally up.
Intel pays a small dividend of 4 cents/share, but with their value currently at $83, the amount is derisory. With cash and short-term investments at $8.7 billion, up a billion dollars in the quarter, there is a good case for returning some value to shareholders in the form of a significant dividend, which would of course stabilise the share price.
Estimates by analysts are that Intel sold around 24 million processors in the quarter, at an average price of around $212, with Celeron accounting for perhaps a quarter of the number.
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