Chip behemoth Intel (INTC) reported worse-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings growth of 6% on Thursday despite seeing signs of PC “stabilization" and enjoying margin expansion.
Shares of the world’s largest semiconductor company fell more than 2% on the mixed results, which also featured a revenue beat and in-line guidance.
Intel said it earned $2.6 billion, or 51 cents a share, last quarter, compared with $2.5 billion, or 48 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had called for EPS of 52 cents.
Revenue rose 3% to $13.8 billion, topping the Street’s view of $13.72 billion. Gross margins expanded to 62% from 58%, beating the company’s expectation of 61%.
“We had a solid fourth quarter with signs of stabilization in the PC segment and financial growth from a year ago," Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in a statement. “We’ve built a strong foundation for our business by bringing innovation to the market more quickly across a wide range of computing platforms.”
Intel said its PC division generated revenue of $8.6 billion last quarter, flat year-over-year but up 2% from the third quarter.
The company’s data center group reported revenue of $3 billion, up 8% from the year-earlier period and 3% from the third quarter. Architecture operating segments generated revenue of $1.1 billion, up 9% year-over-year.
Looking ahead, Intel projected first-quarter revenue of $12.3 billion to $13.3 billion. The midpoint of that range, $12.8 billion, matches consensus calls from analysts for $12.79 billion. Gross margins are seen coming in at about 59%, plus or minus a couple of percentage points.
For the full year, revenue is expected to be about flat from 2013’s $52.7 billion, compared with the Street’s view of $53.23 billion. Gross margins are seen at about 60%, plus or minus a couple of percentage points.
Shares of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel dipped 2.11% to $25.98 in extended trading on Thursday.
A number of analysts have grown more bullish on Intel this week, with BMO Capital Markets (BMO) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) both placing “outperform” ratings on the stock and hiking their price targets to $31 and $29, respectively.