Intel Crushes Earnings Estimates

Intel earnings story updated with conference call comments from Intel CEO Paul Otellini.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Intel ( INTC) crashed through Wall Street's estimates with its second-quarter results, released after market close Wednesday, although the chip giant also cut its forecast for PC growth.
  • Intel reported adjusted earnings of 59 cents a share on sales of $13.1 billion for the second quarter.
  • The chip maker earned 51 cents a share, excluding items, and brought in revenue of $10.8 billion in the same period last year.
  • Analysts expected earnings per share of 51 cents on sales of $12.8 billion.
  • Intel closed trading Wednesday down 7 cents, or 0.3%, at $22.99

The tech giant's numbers were boosted by double-digit growth across all of its business segments, according to a statement released after market close. Intel's data center business experienced 15% year-over-year revenue growth, while sales within its PC client group were up 11% over the same period.

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Intel also surpassed $13 billion in quarterly revenue for the first time, boosted by strong corporate demand and data center growth, although CEO Otellini acknowledged weakness in the PC market.

"At this point in the year, we believe that PC unit growth will be about 8% to 10%, down a bit from our prior view," he said, during a conference call after market close. While corporate business is healthy, Otellini noted that the consumer PC market is mixed, most notably in netbooks.

During Intel's first-quarter conference call, the company had maintained its 2011 prediction of low double-digit growth in the PC market.

Given Intel's status as the market leader in providing chips for PCs, investors are eager to gauge the impact of tablet devices on the company's business. On Tuesday, for example, Apple said that its increasingly popular iPad is gaining share from Microsoft's ( MSFT) Windows PCs.

Otellini, however, shrugged off an analyst's suggestion that tablets could cannibalize the PC market. "My thoughts haven't really changed - even after the numbers from Apple," he replied, during the conference call. "I believe that this category is additional to computing - I think it's a device that some people will use as a standalone device, but some will use as a companion device."

The recent acquisitions of security specialist McAfee and Infineon Wireless Solutions, which is now known as Intel Mobile Communications, also contributed $1 billion of revenue to the company's report.

Set against this backdrop, the tech bellwether offered up robust guidance. For the third quarter, Intel expects revenue between $13.6 billion and $14.6 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for revenue of $13.5 billion.

Investors were nonetheless underwhelmed by Intel's results, pushing the company's shares down 42 cents, or 1.83%, to $22.57 in extended trading.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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