NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Intel's (INTC) fourth quarter wasn't as bad as feared, as the world's largest chipmaker exceeded analysts' estimates. The quality of the earnings beat however, is a different story.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company reported earnings of 48 cents a share on $13.5 billion in revenue. Gross margins, an important metric for Intel, came in at 58%, 100 basis points better than the company was expecting.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for Intel to report earnings of 45 cents a share on $13.53 billion in revenue.
Aiding the report was a lower-than-expected tax rate, which helped lift earnings. The company's tax rate during the quarter was 23%, well below the expected tax rate of 27%."The fourth quarter played out largely as expected as we continued to execute through a challenging environment," said Intel CEO Paul Otellini, in a statement. "We made tremendous progress across the business in 2012 as we entered the market for smartphones and tablets, worked with our partners to reinvent the PC, and drove continued innovation and growth in the data center. As we enter 2013, our strong product pipeline has us well positioned to bring a new wave of Intel innovations across the spectrum of computing." Intel's first quarter and full year 2013 guidance, however, were weaker than Wall Street's looking for. For the first quarter, the No.1 chip maker expects revenue of $12.7 billion, plus or minus $500 million. Gross margin is expected to be 58%, plus or minus a few hundred basis points. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect $12.9 billion in sales and earnings of 39 cents a share. For the full year, Intel is expecting a low single-digit percentage increase for revenue, and gross margins are expected to be around 60%. Shares of Intel closed the regular session higher, gaining 2.58% to finish at $22.68. The stock is moving lower in extended-hours trading, falling 5.16% to trade at $21.51. -- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York >Contact by Email. Follow @Commodity_Bull
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
24/7 market commentary from Jim Cramer and 20+ veteran Wall Street gurus. Get access to the latest trading ideas on stocks, options, and ETFs as well as a real-time forum to see the pros exchanging their investment ideas.
- Jim Cramer + 20 Wall Street pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Real-time trading forum
- Actionable trade ideas
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV