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4/14/2010
08:31 AM
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Intel Reports Record 1Q Profits

Notable sales drivers during what CEO Paul Otellini called the company's "best first quarter ever" were Intel's Core i3, i5 and i7 processors for laptops.

Intel nearly quadrupled its profits year-over-year in the first quarter, as the improving global economy and the company's new products for mobile PCs helped the company record its best quarter ever.

Intel on Tuesday reported that net income in the quarter ended March 27 soared to $2.4 billion, or 43 cents a share, from $629 million, or 11 cents a share, the same period a year ago. Revenue rose 44% to $10.3 billion, and gross margin increased to 63.4% from 45.3%.

The tech bellwether easily beat Wall Street estimates of 38 cents a share on revenue of $9.8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. The strong earnings report lifted Intel shares up nearly 4% in afterhours trading.

Paul Otellini, president and chief executive officer of Intel, said in a statement that rising worldwide sales helped deliver the company's "best first quarter ever." Indeed, Intel's strong results were helped by that fact that the first quarter of last year was at the height of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Intel's latest financial performance was helped by an improving global economy that's driving PC sales up. Global PC shipments in the first quarter of 2010 are expected to rise 17.1% year-over-year, according iSuppli.

Stacy J. Smith, senior VP and chief financial officer, said in a statement that "the ramp of our new mobile products led to better-than-expected average selling prices and better than expected results."

Driving average sales prices (ASPs) up were sales of Intel's new Core i3, i5 and i7 processors for laptops. The chips, based on the company's latest 32-nanometer manufacturing process, are priced higher than older products.

For the second quarter, Intel forecast revenue of $9.8 billion to $10.6 billion. Midpoint of the range would mean a drop of 1% from the first quarter, which is "slightly above" the average seasonal decrease, Intel said. Gross margin is expected to be from 62% to 66%.

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