Intel CEO Says Company Is "Off To A Good Start In Executing Growth" After A Year Of Restructuring

A year after announcing a massive company restructuring program, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said the company is "reaching milestones in transforming from a PC company to one that powers the cloud and billions of connected devices."

"We're off to a good start in executing against our priorities," said Krzanich during an earnings call Thursday for Intel's 2017 first quarter. "We're growing our data center and IoT businesses, and are making an important commitment to our owners today to be more focused and efficient."

Krzanich said that in the coming year, Intel continues to invest in its four priorities – Data Center business growth, maintaining a "healthy PC business," growing its Internet of Things business, and "executing flawlessly" in memory and field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

[Related: 5 Things Partners Want To Hear About Intel's Restructuring Efforts]

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Intel announced plans for massive restructuring efforts in April 2016 to transform the company "from a PC-centric company to a smart, connected company that powers the cloud," Krzanich said at the time, as the company vowed to focus not solely on its traditional PC market, but expand its breadth of products in the data center, memory and Internet of Things market – as well as deeper investments in even newer areas, such as artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles.

Intel said its "growth businesses" collectively grew in the double digits year over year. This includes the company's Data Center Group sales, which increased 6 percent to $4.2 billion year over year, and its Internet of Things Group, which shot up 11 percent to $721 million from the same quarter last year.

"We continue to have an intense focus on strategic priorities as we commit ourselves to new productivity goals," Krzanich said.

Overall, the chip giant posted first quarter net income of $3.0 billion, up from $2.0 billion in last year's first quarter, and earnings of 61 cents a share on overall sales of $14.8 billion, about 7 percent higher than the $13.7 billion reported in the same quarter a year ago.

However, that revenue is slightly below the outlook of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who predicted earnings of 65 cents on sales of $14.81 billion. Intel's shares were down 3.4 percent at $36.15 in after-hours trading.

Meanwhile, the company's Client Computing Group sales increased 6 percent to $8.0 billion. While the PC market has seen continual decline, shipments in the first quarter were better than expected – according to market research firm IDC. PC shipments in the first quarter were up .6 percent, higher than the previously expected decline of 1.8 percent.

As part of its memory business, Intel shipped its first flash storage devices based on its Optane memory technology. The company's Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group sales shot up 55 percent to $866 million.

’Intel had a record quarter driven by acquired growth with Altera and organic growth in flash memory that drove a 55 percent revenue increase," said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal Analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy, an analyst firm based in Austin, Tex. "Some are concerned with Data Center Group margins, but as Intel explained at their recent analyst day, that division is taking some of the early 10nm cost hit."

Intel said it also tapped into growth opportunities through broadening its portfolio of technologies with the creation of two new businesses. In March, the company launched a new Artificial Intelligence Group, which it said would align resources including engineering, labs, software and other products, to build out its AI portfolio under vice president and general manager Naveen Rao. In January Intel also unveiled the Go Automotive 5G Platform, the industry's first 5G-ready test platform for the automotive industry. This platform will enable automakers to develop and test a wide range of use cases and applications around 5G.

"We continued to grow our company... and positioned Intel to lead in new areas like artificial intelligence and autonomous driving," said Krzanich.