Why Intel’s Q4 Bottom Line Isn’t Good Enough

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When Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) released its most recent quarterly results after the markets closed on Thursday, the semiconductor giant posted $1.28 in earnings per share (EPS) and $18.7 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for $1.22 in EPS and $19.01 billion in revenue, and in the fourth quarter of last year Intel said it had EPS of $1.08 on revenue of $17.05 billion.

During this past quarter, Internet of Things Group revenue declined 7% year over year. However, excluding Wind River, the group’s revenue was up 4%, considering divestitures and despite supply tightness. Record quarterly revenue in Intel’s memory business was up 25% in the same time. Its Programmable Solutions Group also achieved record quarterly revenue, up 8%, driven by strength in the data center and communications market segments.

Overall, the PC-centric business was up 10% in the due to continued strong demand for Intel’s higher performance products and strength in commercial and gaming. The group expanded its product portfolio for 2019 with the recent launch of new 9th Gen Intel Core processors and unveiled “Ice Lake” the upcoming, 10nm-based PC processor, which is expected to be in OEM systems on shelves for holiday, 2019.

Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2019, the company expects to see EPS of $0.87 and revenues near $16.0 billion. Consensus estimates call for $1.01 in EPS and $17.37 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Bob Swan, Intel’s chief financial officer and interim chief executive, commented:

2018 was a truly remarkable year for Intel with record revenue in every business segment and record profits as we transform the company to pursue our biggest market opportunity ever. In the fourth quarter, we grew revenue, expanded earnings and previewed new 10nm-based products that position Intel to compete and win going forward. Looking ahead, we are forecasting another record year and raising the dividend based on our view that the explosive growth of data will drive continued demand for Intel products.

Shares of Intel were last seen down more than 7% at $45.96 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $42.04 to $57.60. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $54.58.