Intel says worst is over for battered PC industry

Chipmaker expects market’s recovery to help it grow its full-year revenue by about 5%

Intel said in a statement it expects third-quarter revenue of $14.4 billion, plus or minus $500 million

Intel said in a statement it expects third-quarter revenue of $14.4 billion, plus or minus $500 million

Wed, Jul 16, 2014, 08:17

Chipmaker Intel, which employs more than 4,500 people in Ireland, has said it believes the worst is over for a personal computer industry hammered by the mobile revolution.

The company forecast third-quarter revenue above Wall Street’s expectations on Tuesday, sending its stock 4 per cent higher in extended trade.

Investors have pushed shares of PC mainstays Microsoft and Intel to decade-highs, partly on bets that the global slump in PC demand that began with Apple’s launch of the iPad four years ago is hitting bottom.

“PCs have stabilised,” chief financial officer Stacy Smith said.

He said he expects shrinking demand from consumers in China and other developing countries to rebound, just as it recently has in the United States. From the end of 2010, the year the iPad was launched, to the end of 2013, annual global PC shipments shrank a total of 12 per cent, according to IDC.

Intel now expects the market’s recovery to help it grow its full-year revenue about 5 per cent, slightly higher than prior expectations. chief executive Brian Krzanich told analysts on a conference call that improved demand from companies replacing old PCs would last at least through the end of 2014.

Also on Tuesday, Intel increased its share buyback program by $20 billion. It plans to repurchase about $4 billion of stock in the current quarter, underscoring its confidence in a turnaround and a growing crop of “two in one” devices with detachable keyboards and screens.

“My presumption would be that if they’re confident enough to boost it that they see this (PC market) upside maintaining,” Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon said. “God help them if they’re wrong.”

Intel said in a statement it expects third-quarter revenue of $14.4 billion, plus or minus $500 million. Revenue from Intel’s PC group rose 6 per cent in the quarter while its data centre group, a big contributor to gross margins, had revenue jump 19 per cent.

Intel has made little progress expanding from the PC industry into chips for smartphones and tablets.

For the second quarter, Intel said its mobile and communications group’s revenue fell 83 per cent to $51 million and had an operating loss of $1.12 billion.

Intel’s second-quarter revenue was $13.8 billion, compared with $12.8 billion in the year-ago quarter.

In June, Intel revised increased its second-quarter revenue outlook to $13.7 billion, plus or minus $300 million, citing stronger-than-expected demand for PCs used by businesses.

Intel posted second-quarter net income of $2.8 billion, or 55 cents a share, compared with $2 billion, or 39 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Intel shares closed up 0.70 per cent at $31.71 in regular trade on Nasdaq.

Reuters