Intel Memo Hints at Possible Q1 Loss

Could Intel (INTC) drop into the red in the March quarter?

In a memo to employees, Bloomberg reports, Intel CEO Paul Otellini wrote that after 87 quarters of profits, the first quarter is “too close to call.”

In reporting fourth-quarter results last week, Intel declined to give formal first-quarter guidance, but said that for “internal planning purposes” the company is assuming revenue for the quarter of $7 billion, which would be down almost 15 percent from the $8.2 billion posted in Q4, and off 28 percent versus a year earlier. Intel also cautioned that it expects gross margin for the quarter to drop to the low 40s from 53.1 percent in Q3 due to lower fab utilization and other factors.

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