Intel Beats Street

Posts 4Q profit of 15 cents, sales of $7 billion

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Chip giant Intel, in what could be a tone-setting financial report for the entire market, said it saw a profit of 15 cents per share for its fourth quarter--beating Wall Street expectations by 4 cents.

Intel's profit outpaced the 11 cents per share consensus estimate.

Overall, Intel reported a profit of $998 million for the fourth quarter on revenue of $7 billion, which beat the average Wall Street estimate of $6.8 billion.

That compared with a profit of $2.8 billion on revenue of $8.7 billion for the same quarter a year earlier. However, it also marked an increase in sales and revenue over the third quarter of 2001, Intel said.

Intel's results were buoyed by a quarter in which sales of its Pentium 4 processor outstripped expectations, analysts said.

It put a comparatively positive end to 2001 for Intel, which saw total sales of $26.5 billion and a profit of $3.6 billion, compared with $33.7 billion in revenue and $12.1 billion in profit for the full fiscal year of 2000.

"2001 was a terrible year for our industry," Intel CEO Craig Barrett said in a prepared statement. "Despite this backdrop, we introduced exciting new products, including the industry's first 2GHz processor, gained market segment share and earned over $1 billion."

Looking ahead, Intel, in its financial release, said it anticipated sales of between $6.4 billion and $7 billion for the first quarter, with a gross margin percentage of 50 percent, "plus or minus a couple of points," compared with 51 percent during the fourth quarter.

It also expects overall capital spending to drop significantly in 2002, from $7.3 billion in 2001 to $5.5 billion--largely the result of construction of new fab plants being completed last year.

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