Intel Corp. Delivered on Its Promises in This Q1 Report

By Anders Bylund Markets Fool.com

Semiconductor giant Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) reported first-quarter results after the closing bell on Thursday. Unadjusted results were at or above management's guidance targets, and management's full-year profit targets were given a modest boost.

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Here's what investors need to know about Intel's latest earnings report.

Intel: The raw numbers

Metric

Q1 2017

Q1 2016

Year-Over-Year Change

Revenue

$14.8 billion

$13.7 billion

8%

Operating margin

24.3%

18.7%

30%

Net income (unadjusted)

$2.96 billion

$2.05 billion

44%

Diluted EPS (unadjusted)

$0.61

$0.42

45%

Data source: Intel earnings reports.

As a reminder, Intel's first-quarter guidance called for $14.8 billion of top-line revenue, a 24% unadjusted operating margin, and GAAP earnings near $0.56 per share. All of these projections were either met or exceeded in the final tally.

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Looking ahead, full-year revenue guidance held steady at $60 billion. The operating income target was lifted from $15.7 billion to $16.1 billion, boosting the targeted operating margin from 26.1% to 26.8%. At $2.56 per share, the new earnings target is a small improvement over the earlier $2.53 goal.

The Robert Noyce building,home to the Intel Museum, on Intel's HQ campus in Santa Clara, Calif. Image source: Intel.

Going deeper

Intel's client computing segment reported 6% year-over-year revenue growth, balancing a 1% increase in notebook unit volumes against 7% lower desktop volumes. Average selling prices increased for both of these classic platforms.

Data center revenue also increased by 6%, thanks to stable sales volumes and rising average prices.

Intel released its first Optane memory products in the first quarter, building on a longtime partnership with memory specialist Micron Technology to produce a speed-booster module for systems based on 7th-generation Intel Core processors. Intel describes Optane as "the holy grail of memory, because it's cheaper than DRAM, way faster than NAND, and it's non-volatile."

System builders have already started to embrace this young technology, driving Intel's memory segment to a 55% year-over-year sales boost in the first quarter. That $866 million revenue bite placed the non-volatile memory group third among Intel's six reportable segments, behind only the gargantuan data center and client computing divisions.

Looking ahead, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich found reason for optimism in this quarter's demand for high-speed processors.

"The [average selling price] strength we saw across nearly every segment of the business demonstrates continued demand for high-performance computing, which will only increase with the explosion of data," Krzanich said in a prepared statement.

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Anders Bylund owns shares of INTC and MU. The Motley Fool recommends INTC. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.