Intel Reports Fourth-Quarter Travesty
Intel investors are this afternoon drowning their sorrows in shots of Mylanta, now that the company has reported a steep drop in profit and overall sales for its fourth quarter. Profits plunged 90 percent to $234 million, or four cents a share, for the quarter. This in stark contrast to the same period the previous year, in which it earned $2.3 billion, or 38 cents a share.
Still, Intel’s results were in line with its twice-lowered guidance and analyst estimates. So while God-awful-lousy, things certainly could have been worse. “While the environment is uncertain, our fundamental business strategies are more focused than ever,” said Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini in a statement. “Intel has weathered difficult times in the past, and we know what needs to be done to drive our success moving forward.”
One thing Intel (INTC) doesn’t know going forward is revenue outlook. The company has refused to provide one at this time, citing “economic uncertainty and limited visibility.” It offered up $7 billion in first-quarter sales–almost $300 million lower than analyst estimates–for “internal purposes.” Which pretty clearly suggests demand has stalled and Intel isn’t quite sure when it will return. As I said back in December:
If it’s true that the semiconductor industry is among the first sectors to recover after a recession or economic slowdown, then the coming months are looking pretty bleak.”