Updated from 8:26 a.m. to include thoughts from Pacific Crest Securities analyst.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) –– Intel (INTC - Get Report) shares soared after the world's largest chipmaker blew past its pre-announced second-quarter results and the company announced plans to buy back $20 billion in stock over the next few years.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel reported second-quarter earnings of 55 cents a share on $13.83 billion in sales. Gross margins, a closely watched level for Intel, came in at 64.5%, at the high-end of company forecasts. In June, Intel had expected second-quarter revenue to be $13.7 billion, plus or minus $300 million, up from a prior outlook of $13 billion, plus or minus $500 million. It also expected gross margins to be 64%, up from a prior outlook of 63%.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn 52 cents a share on $13.7 billion in revenue.
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"Our second-quarter results showed the strength of our strategy to extend the reach of Intel technology from the data center to PCs to the Internet of Things," Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in a press release. "With the ramp of our Baytrail SoC family, we have expanded into new segments such as Chrome-based systems, and we are on track to meet our 40 million unit tablet goal. In addition, we hit an important qualification milestone for our upcoming 14nm Broadwell product, and expect the first systems to be on shelves during the holidays."
Shares of Intel gained 6.2% in early Wednesday trading, to trade at $33.66.
Intel noted rthat evenue from its PC Client Group, its biggest division, rose 9% sequentially and 6% year over year to $8.7 billion, as PC sales have rebounded over the past 12 months. The company also noted its Data Center Group saw a 14% sequential rise and 19% year-over-year gain in revenue to $3.5 billion, and the Internet of Things Group saw a 12% sequential and 19% year-over-year rise to $539 million.
For the third quarter, Intel said it expects revenue to be $14.4 billion, plus or minus $500 million, with a 66% gross margin rate, plus or minus a couple of percentage points.
Intel also boosted its full-year 2014 outlook, saying it now expects revenue growth of approximately 5%, "slightly higher than prior expectations." Gross margins for the full year are expected to be 63%, plus or minus a few percentage points, and the company still expects capital spending to be $11 billion, plus or minus $500 million.
The world's largest chipmaker also announced that its board boosted its buyback program by $20 billion. Intel expects to buy back approximately $4 billion in the third quarter with "additional share repurchases in the fourth quarter." Intel Chief Financial Officer Stacy J. Smith said this continues to reinforce confidence in Intel, returning additional cash to shareholders. "This change in our capital structure is the continuation of a multi-year focus on creating value and returning cash to our shareholders, and reinforces our confidence in the business," Smith said in a press release.
Following the report, analysts were exceptionally bullish on Intel's prospects, noting the growth in the PC sector. Here's what a few of them had to say.