Intel Shines, Gives Strong Guidance

Intel CEO Paul Otellini's conference call comments have been added to this story.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Chip giant Intel ( INTC) beat Wall Street's estimates with its fourth-quarter results and offered healthy guidance, vowing to continue its recent momentum into 2011.

The tech bellwether reported revenue of $11.5 billion, up from $10.6 billion in the same period last year and above analysts' consensus forecast of $11.37 billion.

Excluding items, Intel earned 59 cents a share, up from 55 cents a share in the prior year's quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had predicted earnings of 53 cents a share.
Intel recently launched its new Sandy Bridge chip.

The chipmaker, which recently launched its new Sandy Bridge chip, expects to build on its strong recent performance in the coming months.

"2010 was the best year in Intel's history. We believe that 2011 will be even better," said Paul Otellini, Intel's CEO, in a statement released after the market close.

Intel, which enjoyed strong quarterly results in 2010, has already noted a robust PC environment. "Our fourth-quarter results represent the third consecutive quarter of record results for the company," said Otellini, during a conference call after market close. The PC market grew approximately 17% worldwide in 2010, he added.

For the full year, Intel's PC Client Group grew its revenue by 21% compared with 2009, while the firm's Data Center Group saw its revenue climb 35%.

The company recently announced plans to hike its dividend, underlining its growth during 2010.

Otellini also used Thursday's conference call to discuss Intel's technology roadmap. The company, he said, plans to refresh its entire Xeon processor line during the first half of 2011. Intel also plans to offer low-price versions of its Atom netbook processor for emerging markets this year, added Otellini.

"Nearly half of all the embedded Atom design win activity is coming from China," explained the Intel CEO.

The No. 1 semiconductor maker also said it expects first-quarter revenue to come in somewhere between $11.1 billion and $11.9 billion.

For the first quarter, analysts are expecting Intel to report revenue of $10.71 billion and earnings of 44 cents a share.

Intel shares rose 20 cents, or 0.94%, to reach $21.49 in extended trading.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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