The chip giant topped expectations on earnings and raised its fourth quarter guidance, reporting revenue of $19.2 billion, compared to an analyst consensus of $18 billion. For the full year 2019, it raised its revenue forecast from $69.5 billion to $71 billion and its EPS forecast from $4.40 to $4.42.
Data center was a big driver of the top line growth, the company told investors on Thursday. Shares were up sharply after-hours on Thursday following the earnings release, and were up 7.3% to $56.02 on Friday morning.
The data center segment beat expectations by a considerable margin, generating $6.4 billion in quarterly revenue compared to $5.6 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Intel CEO Bob Swan described the quarter as the "best quarter in our company's history," with "data-centric" lines of businesses making up more than half of the overall revenue for the quarter. Within the data center group, Intel said that its cloud and comms segment -- a services segment that the company has aggressively sought to expand amid wavering demand in other areas of its business -- makes up over two-thirds of the group's revenue.
On a shareholder call, Intel management acknowledged a more competitive environment in data center businesses, and elsewhere, but said that it's not complacent heading into 2020.
"We do know that going into next year that our role is to dramatically expand the role we play in our customers' success, so we're expanding the product, the architecture, the packaging technologies, the process capabilities, and the software that we build so we can continue to deliver better and better product performance for our customers," Swan said.
In addition to exceeding revenue in the data center segment Intel also reported an operating margin of 49% in the data center segment.
Shares of Intel are up 19% so far this year.
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