Intel Reports Better-Than-Expected Q3 Revenue Of $14.55B On Strength Of Recovering PC Market

Following the bell, Intel reported its third quarter financial performance, including revenue of $14.55 billion and earnings per share of $0.66. Analysts and the street had expected that Intel would earn $0.65 per share on total top line of $14.45 billion.

In its sequentially preceding quarter, Intel earned $0.55 per share on revenue of $13.8 billion.

The company’s revenue rose $1.1 billion compared to its year-ago period, or 8 percent. More positively, its operating income rose 30 percent to $4.5 billion.

In after-hours trading, following its earnings beat, Intel is up several points. During regular trading, Intel rose around 2 percent. An inadvertent headline from a news organization sent a thrill through its shares earlier in the day.

Intel, a key player in the PC market, could be enjoying increasing stability in the sector. Recent IDC and Gartner numbers indicate that the PC market itself is now only barely contracting. According to IDC, PC shipments fell only 1.7 percent in the most recent quarter, compared to the year ago period, to 78.5 million units.

In the United States, again according to IDC, PC sales were up more than 4 percent from the year-prior.

Intel’s PC group had revenue of $9.2 billion, up 9 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. On the other extreme, its mobile group had revenue of $1 million in the period. Intel called that “consistent with expectations.”

Intel lost more than $1 billion on its mobile efforts in the quarter.

There is a certain historical irony that Intel is recovering, and even growing on the back of PCs, a market segment that many have tried to write off as irrelevant for some time. At the same time, its mobile business remains nascent. The company’s Internet of Things business managed a 14 percent year-over-year decline in the period, to revenue of $530 million

Next to PCs, only Intel’s Data Center Group managed to crack the billion dollar mark, reporting $3.9 billion in revenue in the third quarter, up 16 percent from the year-ago period.

For its fourth quarter, Intel expects revenue of $14.7 billion, with a $500 million margin of error, and a gross margin of around 64 percent. The revenue number feels conservative.

Microsoft reports its earnings next week. A strong quarter at Intel like this one could imply that other players in the PC space, of which Microsoft is a stalwart, might have positive results from the product category as well.