Intel has confounded Wall Street analysts by posting far better annual results than expected.
Its turnover rose year on year by $5 billion to over $25 billion while gross profit rose from $7.9 billion in the year ending 1996 to $10.66 billion in the year ending 1997.
And although Intel had warned earlier that its fourth quarter would not be as buoyant as expected, in fact, the company performed well, with turnover of $6.5 billion delivering a gross profit margin of over 60 per cent.
But Intel has warned that it expects sales in its first quarter of 1998 to be comparatively flat.
The company said that it still believes over the long term that it will maintain a gross margin percentage of 50 per cent plus. That will vary according to the product mix, it said.
Andy Grove, chairman and CEO of Intel, said: ?New market segments from the basic PC to high performance workstations and serves, offer growth opportunities for Intel.?
It forecast that in 1998, it would spend $2.8 billion on research and development.
An analysis of Intel?s fourth quarter results shows that it had sold more Fast Ethernet connections and switches, while its embedded and microcontroller business stayed flat.
The bulk of Intel?s business is still accounted for by sales in the Americas and Europe, amounting to 75 per cent of revenues, while Asia-Pacific and Japan together account for the rest.
That makes Intel less vulnerable to the recent turmoil in the Far East than others.
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