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Intel's 1Q Profits Jump 89%

Sales rose 20% and net income soared as worldwide spending on processors picked up.
Intel's first-quarter profits soared 89% and revenue was up 20% as worldwide business spending on processors picked up.

For the three months ended March 27, Intel on Tuesday reported a profit of $1.73 billion, or 26 cents per share, compared with a profit of $915 million, or 14 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Sales rose to $8.09 billion, up from $6.75 billion in the first quarter of 2003. The results include a 1.7 cent-per-share charge from Intel's $225 million payment to Intergraph Corp. to settle a long-running patent dispute. That agreement was announced March 30.

"Intel's first-quarter results showed healthy growth in both revenue and earnings compared to a year ago, led by improvement in worldwide IT spending,'' CEO Craig Barrett said in a statement.

Intel also said Tuesday that it expects revenue in the current quarter's to fall between $7.6 billion and $8.2 billion. The midpoint is below analysts' consensus expectation of $8.09 billion, but above typical seasonal declines in the second quarter, one of the weakest of the year.

First-quarter revenue grew in every part of the world. "Everybody contributed to that 20% growth. It's not just emerging markets anymore. It's Europe and the U.S. as well,'' CFO Andy Bryant told The Associated Press.

Intel is ramping up production of its latest Pentium 4 chip, which was released in February. It's also updating its Xeon server processors to support 64-bit memory extensions to better compete with AMD's 64-bit Opteron processors.