Intel Corp.'s first-quarter profit blew past Wall Street's grim forecasts but failed to provide a formal revenue outlook for the current quarter, sending its shares down 4.6 percent.

Net income declined to $647 million, or 11 cents a share, from $1.44 billion, or 25 cents, a year earlier, the company said today in a statement.

Intel shares were down 76 cents, 4.8 percent, at $15.25 in after-hours trading. The shares had gained 3 cents to close at $16.01 before the earnings report.

The world's biggest chipmaker said it is planning for sales of about $7.1 billion this quarter, in line with the average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

Intel was optimistic comments were notable because it was the first technology company to report earnings for the first three months of 2009.

The company said it believes personal computer sales hit bottom in the quarter, but said were not able to make a precise prediction about the second quarter at the moment.

Intel said for internal purposes it was planning for revenue to be flat after the first quarter's $7.1 billion, compared with analysts' average estimate of $7 billion.

We did see signs that the PC market bottomed out in the first quarter, said Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith, noting that first-quarter financial performance was a little better than the company had expected.

But there still is a lot of economic uncertainty out there that creates a wider range of potential outcomes than normal.

Intel reported a net profit in the first quarter ended March 28 of $647 million, or 11 cents a share, down 55 percent from $1.44 billion, or 25 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a profit of 3 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue fell 26 percent to $7.1 billion, versus the average analyst estimate of $6.98 billion.

Intel's sales of $7.1 billion were about $100 million higher than estimates.

We believe PC sales bottomed out during the first quarter and that the industry is returning to normal seasonal patterns, said Intel's CEO, Paul Otellini, said in a statement.