Intel reported earnings that beat analysts’ earnings for the first quarter ended March 31. Revenues for the quarter were $14.8 billion and non-GAAP earnings were $3.2 billion, or 66 cents a share.
The earnings come at an interesting time for the world’s largest chip maker, which faces competition from Qualcomm in mobile, artificial intelligence from Nvidia, and core PC microprocessors from Advanced Micro Devices, which just launched its speedy Ryzen desktop processors.
For the first quarter of 2017, Intel projected revenue of $14.3 billion to $15.3 billion, an improvement from $13.7 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts estimated Intel would report revenue of $14.8 billion, directly in the middle of its forecast range, and analysts expected adjusted earnings would come in at 65 cents a share.
The company also generated approximately $3.9 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.2 billion, and used $1.2 billion to repurchase 35 million shares of stock.
“The first quarter was another record quarter, coming off a record 2016. We continued to grow our company, shipped our disruptive new Optane memory technology, and positioned Intel to lead in new areas like artificial intelligence and autonomous driving,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO, in a statement. “The average selling price (ASP) strength we saw across nearly every segment of the business demonstrates continued demand for high-performance computing, which will only increase with the explosion of data.”
Intel’s stock is down 3.2 percent in after-hours trading, at about $36.25 a share. That might have to do with the second-quarter outlook, which is expected to be about $14.4 billion. Intel is targeted adjusted earnings per share of 68 cents, plus or minus 5 cents a share, for Q2.
Intel recently bet big on Mobileye, spending $15 billion to buy the company with self-driving car technology.
The competition from AMD will be closely watch, as AMD is rolling out its Ryzen processors throughout the year, based on its advanced Zen processor architecture. Those processors are 52 percent faster on a per clock basis than the previous generation, and it’s not a simple matter for Intel to respond.
Intel, however, argues that its manufacturing technology remains a couple of years ahead of its rivals, giving Intel an advantage in production costs.
Intel’s Client Computing Group had Q1 revenue of $8.0 billion, up 6 percent. Data Center Group revenue was $4.2 billion, up 6 percent. Internet of Things Group revenue was $721 million, up 11 percent. And the Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group revenue of $866 million, up 55 percent.
Meanwhile, the Intel Security Group (which was spun out during the quarter) posted revenue of $534 million, down 1 percent. The Programmable Solutions Group revenue was $425 million, up 18 percent.
“In the first quarter, we achieved growth across the business and increased capital returns with a five percent dividend raise while investing for future growth,” said Bob Swan, Intel chief financial officer, in a statement. “We’re off to a good start and raised our outlook for the year as we also look to further improve Intel’s operating efficiency.”
Overall, Intel’s numbers still look massive. The company is targeting $60 billion in revenue in 2017, $12 billion in capital spending, and $20.5 billion in research and development. Intel closed the quarter with 106,900 employees.
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