Arik Hesseldahl

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Somehow, Intel Beats the Street

Intel earnings have just crossed the wires and there’s a bit of a surprise in there. Somehow the world’s biggest supplier of chips for computers, amid a shortage of hard drives that is killing the supply and demand for its chips, managed to beat the consensus of analysts.

Sales for the fourth quarter came in at $13.9 billion, and per share earnings were 64 cents, for a net of $3.4 billion. For the full year Intel finished with sales of $54 billion and a net of $12.9 billion and EPS of $2.39, all of them records. So even amid the diminished expectations of the moment, Intel is sounding the victory trumpets, and not unreasonably.

The statement is below. Come back in a little while and I’ll be live blogging the earnings conference call.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 19, 2012 – Intel Corporation today reported full-year revenue of $54 billion, operating income of $17.5 billion, net income of $12.9 billion and EPS of $2.39 — all records. The company generated approximately $21 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $4.1 billion and used $14.1 billion to repurchase 642 million shares of stock.

For the fourth quarter, Intel posted revenue of $13.9 billion, operating income of $4.6 billion, net income of $3.4 billion and EPS of 64 cents. The company generated approximately $6.6 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.1 billion and used $4.1 billion to repurchase 174 million shares of stock.

“2011 was an exceptional year for Intel,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. “With outstanding execution the company performed superbly, growing revenue by more than $10 billion and eclipsing all annual revenue and earnings records. With a tremendous product and technology pipeline for 2012, we’re excited about the global growth opportunities presented by Ultrabook systems, the data center, security and the introduction of Intel-powered smartphones and tablets.”

Business Outlook
Intel’s Business Outlook does not include the potential impact of any mergers, acquisitions, divestitures or other business combinations that may be completed after Jan. 19.

Q1 2012 (GAAP, unless otherwise stated)

Revenue: $12.8 billion, plus or minus $500 million.
Gross margin percentage: 63 percent and 64 percent Non-GAAP (excluding amortization of acquisition-related intangibles), both plus or minus a couple percentage points.
R&D plus MG&A spending: approximately $4.4 billion.
Amortization of acquisition-related intangibles: approximately $75 million.
Impact of equity investments and interest and other: approximately zero.

Depreciation: approximately $1.5 billion.

Full-Year 2012 (GAAP, unless otherwise stated)

Gross margin percentage: 64 percent and 65 percent Non-GAAP (excluding amortization of acquisition-related intangibles), both plus or minus a few percentage points.
Spending (R&D plus MG&A): $18.3 billion, plus or minus $200 million.
R&D spending: approximately $10.1 billion.
Amortization of acquisition-related intangibles: approximately $300 million.
Depreciation: $6.5 billion, plus or minus $100 million.
Tax Rate: approximately 29 percent.
Full-year capital spending: $12.5 billion, plus or minus $400 million.

For additional information regarding Intel’s results and Business Outlook, please see the CFO commentary at: www.intc.com/results.cfm.

Status of Business Outlook
Intel’s Business Outlook is posted on intc.com and may be reiterated in public or private meetings with investors and others. The Business Outlook will be effective through the close of business March 16 unless earlier updated; except that the Business Outlook for amortization of acquisition-related intangibles, impact of equity investments and interest and other, and tax rate, will be effective only through the close of business on Jan. 26. Intel’s Quiet Period will start from the close of business on March 16 until publication of the company’s first-quarter earnings release, scheduled for April 17. During the Quiet Period, all of the Business Outlook and other forward-looking statements disclosed in the company’s news releases and filings with the SEC should be considered as historical, speaking as of prior to the Quiet Period only, and not subject to an update by the company.

Q4 and 2011 Key Financial Information (GAAP)

Q4 Business unit revenue:

PC Client Group revenue of $9 billion, up 17 percent year-over-year.
Data Center Group revenue of $2.7 billion, up 8 percent year-over-year.
Other Intel® architecture group revenue of $1.1 billion, up 35 percent year-over-year.
Intel® Atom™ microprocessor and chipset revenue of $167 million, down 57 percent year-over-year.
McAfee Inc. and Intel Mobile Communications contributed revenue of approximately $1 billion.

Full Year Business unit revenue:

PC Client Group had revenue of $35.4 billion, up 17% from 2010.
Data Center Group had revenue of $10.1 billion, up 17% from 2010.
Other Intel architecture group had revenue of $5.0 billion, up 64% from 2010.
Intel Atom microprocessor and chipset revenue of $1.2 billion, down 25% from 2010.
McAfee Inc. and Intel Mobile Communications contributed revenue of $3.6 billion.

Risk Factors
The above statements and any others in this document that refer to plans and expectations for the first quarter, the year and the future are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “may,” “will,” “should” and their variations identify forward-looking statements. Statements that refer to or are based on projections, uncertain events or assumptions also identify forward-looking statements. Many factors could affect Intel’s actual results, and variances from Intel’s current expectations regarding such factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. Intel presently considers the following to be the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the company’s expectations.

Demand could be different from Intel’s expectations due to factors including changes in business and economic conditions, including supply constraints and other disruptions affecting customers; customer acceptance of Intel’s and competitors’ products; changes in customer order patterns including order cancellations; and changes in the level of inventory at customers. Uncertainty in global economic and financial conditions poses a risk that consumers and businesses may defer purchases in response to negative financial events, which could negatively affect product demand and other related matters.
Intel operates in intensely competitive industries that are characterized by a high percentage of costs that are fixed or difficult to reduce in the short term and product demand that is highly variable and difficult to forecast. Revenue and the gross margin percentage are affected by the timing of Intel product introductions and the demand for and market acceptance of Intel’s products; actions taken by Intel’s competitors, including product offerings and introductions, marketing programs and pricing pressures and Intel’s response to such actions; and Intel’s ability to respond quickly to technological developments and to incorporate new features into its products.
Intel is in the process of transitioning to its next generation of products on 22nm process technology, and there could be execution and timing issues associated with these changes, including products defects and errata and lower than anticipated manufacturing yields.
The gross margin percentage could vary significantly from expectations based on capacity utilization; variations in inventory valuation, including variations related to the timing of qualifying products for sale; changes in revenue levels; product mix and pricing; the timing and execution of the manufacturing ramp and associated costs; start-up costs; excess or obsolete inventory; changes in unit costs; defects or disruptions in the supply of materials or resources; product manufacturing quality/yields; and impairments of long-lived assets, including manufacturing, assembly/test and intangible assets.
The tax rate expectation is based on current tax law and current expected income. The tax rate may be affected by the jurisdictions in which profits are determined to be earned and taxed; changes in the estimates of credits, benefits and deductions; the resolution of issues arising from tax audits with various tax authorities, including payment of interest and penalties; and the ability to realize deferred tax assets.
Gains or losses from equity securities and interest and other could vary from expectations depending on gains or losses on the sale, exchange, change in the fair value or impairments of debt and equity investments; interest rates; cash balances; and changes in fair value of derivative instruments.
The majority of Intel’s non-marketable equity investment portfolio balance is concentrated in companies in the flash memory market segment, and declines in this market segment or changes in management’s plans with respect to Intel’s investments in this market segment could result in significant impairment charges, impacting restructuring charges as well as gains/losses on equity investments and interest and other.

Intel’s results could be affected by adverse economic, social, political and physical/infrastructure conditions in countries where Intel, its customers or its suppliers operate, including military conflict and other security risks, natural disasters, infrastructure disruptions, health concerns and fluctuations in currency exchange rates.
Expenses, particularly certain marketing and compensation expenses, as well as restructuring and asset impairment charges, vary depending on the level of demand for Intel’s products and the level of revenue and profits.

Intel’s results could be affected by the timing of closing of acquisitions and divestitures.
Intel’s results could be affected by adverse effects associated with product defects and errata (deviations from published specifications), and by litigation or regulatory matters involving intellectual property, stockholder, consumer, antitrust and other issues, such as the litigation and regulatory matters described in Intel’s SEC reports. An unfavorable ruling could include monetary damages or an injunction prohibiting us from manufacturing or selling one or more products, precluding particular business practices, impacting Intel’s ability to design its products, or requiring other remedies such as compulsory licensing of intellectual property.

A detailed discussion of these and other factors that could affect Intel’s results is included in Intel’s SEC filings, including the report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended Oct. 1, 2011.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald