Intel Corporation turned in a strong third-quarter as revenue soared to $1.1 billion, spurred by better-than-expected sales from personal computers and chips that power server systems.
The company’s latest quarterly earnings may ease investor concerns about worrying signs within the semiconductor industry. Microchip Technology, a provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, lowered its second-quarter sales forecast last week and warned of a broad-based industry downturn -- leaving all eyes on Intel’s latest report and earnings forecast for the fourth-quarter.
“Intel is an extremely important part of the overall tech sector because it’s a bellwether stock,” said Adam Sarhan, CEO of Sarhan Capital. “It’s a good overall proxy in the overall tech space.”
Intel reported a third-quarter profit of $3.3 billion, or 66 cents per share, on revenue of 14.6 billion, compared with a profit of $2.95 billion, or 58 cents per share, on sales of $13.48 billion a year earlier. Net income for the period ended Sept. 27 jumped 12 percent from the same period in 2013.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company also announced it shipped over 1 million microprocessors in the quarter -- the first time in history.
“Importantly, our results demonstrate that we are building out our success in the PC and data center segments to successfully pursue adjacent opportunities,” said Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel, during the company’s third-quarter earnings call with shareholders.
The boost in revenue came from two of the company's core segments: Intel's PC Client Group and Data Center Group. Revenue from Intel’s PC Client Group, which offers microprocessors and related chipsets designed for the notebook, netbook, and desktop market segments, rose 9 percent year-over-year to $9.2 billion. Sales from the company’s Data Center Group, which offers products that are incorporated into servers, rose 16 percent from a year earlier to $3.7 billion.
Although sales in Intel’s mobile and communications group came in line with the company’s expectations at $1 million, it plunged 100 percent on a year-over-year basis and was down 98 percent from the second-quarter. The segment also struggled in the previous quarter after revenue in the same segment dropped 67 percent, sequentially, to $51 million.
However, analysts are optimistic about Intel’s strategy for growth.
“We see healthy growth for INTC's Data Center Group, driven by cloud computing, communications and storage,” said Angelo Zino, an analyst at S&P Capital IQ, said in a research note. “INTC continues to expand its chip offerings at lower price points to gain share in mobile devices.”
Intel’s PC Client Group revenue was up 6 percent relative to the second-quarter in 2014. Desktop platform volumes rose 6 percent on a year-over-year basis, while notebook platform volumes increased 21 percent compared to the same period in 2013.
Intel’s software and services operating segments reported revenue of $558 million, up 2 percent from a year ago and an increase of 2 percent from the previous quarter.
“We see a no growth environment for PCs long term, but we think server growth, expansion into mobility and growth in the ‘Internet of Things’ will help drive revenues higher,” Zino added.
Intel also forecast stronger-than-anticipated revenue growth for the current quarter. The company expects revenue of $14.7 billion for the fourth-quarter, plus or minus $500 million, up 1 percent from the third-quarter. Intel would not providing a forecast for fiscal 2015.
Following Intel’s earnings call, shares of the chipmaker rose 2.12 percent to $32.82 in after-hours trading.