Intel Tops Estimates and Guidance, but Stock Falls

Intel exceeded analysts' expectations for both earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter, Bob Swan's last as CEO.
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Shares of Intel  (INTC) - Get Report were volatile after hours Thursday after the chip maker reported fourth quarter results that were ahead of analyst estimates. 

The Santa Clara, California-based company reported earnings of $1.52 per share on revenue of $20 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.10 per share on revenue of $17.5 billion.

“We significantly exceeded our expectations for the quarter, capping off our fifth consecutive record year,” said Bob Swan, Intel's CEO. “Demand for the computing performance Intel delivers remains very strong and our focus on growth opportunities is paying off.

Last week, Intel announced that this will be CEO Bob Swan's last earnings release with the company, with the 60-year-old executive stepping down in February after serving as CEO for two years. He previously served as interim CEO for several months, and before that was Intel's chief financial officer between 2016 and 2019. 

Swan will be replaced with Pat Gelsinger, 59, the former VMware  (VMW) - Get Report CEO who had been head of that company since 2012 and previously had worked at Intel for 30 years.

For the first quarter, the company expects to generate revenue of $17.5 billion, which is down from the current quarter, but ahead of analyst estimates for $16.06 billion.

The company said fiscal 2020 marked the fifth consecutive year of record revenue for the company. Intel invested $13.6 billion in research and development during the fiscal year. 

In December, hedge fund Third Point urged Intel's board to explore strategic alternatives for the company as Intel has continued to lose market share to rivals 

Intel shares were down 1.4% to $61.60 after hours Thursday after also spending some time in positive territory. Over the last year, shares are up only 1.8%, compared to a roughly 63% return for the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.