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Intel sees 'signs of improvement in the PC business' but earnings remain 'Meh...'

Prospects for the future, however, please Wall Street money men

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Intel has posted its financial results for its first quarter of fiscal 2014 that were either marginally lower or higher than analysts' estimates, depending upon which analysts you trust.

Chipzilla reported revenues of $12.8bn for the quarter, with net income of $1.9bn and the all-important earnings per share (EPS) coming in at $0.38.

"In the first quarter we saw solid growth in the data center, signs of improvement in the PC business, and we shipped 5 million tablet processors, making strong progress on our goal of 40 million tablets for 2014," said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.

The average EPS prediction by the 39 analysts polled by Thompson Reuters for Yahoo! Finance was $0.37 out of a range of $0.34 to $0.43, down from the $0.40 that the company earned in the year-ago quarter. Those same worthies pegged revenues to come in at $12.81bn, with their estimates ranging from a low of $12.70bn to a high of $13bn. Last year's revenues for the same quarter were $12.58bn.

The analysts polled by FactSet, on the other hand, had set expectations at an EPS of $0.42 on $12.81bn in revenue, MarketWatch reports.

More than a few analysts had predicted – though not all – that Intel would post higher than expected numbers – but exactly how results can be expected to beat expectations we'll leave to those metaphysicians who tackle vexing issues involving angels and pinheades.

Intel's data center group was the star of the show, up 11 per cent year-on-year with revenues of $3.1bn, though down 5 per cent from the previous quarter. The PC client group, on the other hand, slipped down 1 per cent y/y to $7.9bn, and down 8 per cent sequentially.

Among the smaller divisions, the Internet of Things group – yes, they now have one – brought in revenues of $482m, up 32 per cent y/y but down 10 per cent sequentially, and the Mobile and Communications Group's $156 million fairly stunk up the balance sheet, down 61 per cent y/y and down 52 per cent sequentially. Software and services were by comparison flat: their $553m in revenue were up 6 per cent y/y and down 6 per cent.

For its current Q2, Intel expects revenues to be $13.0bn, give or take a half-billion. Those expectations apparently pleased Wall Street: the company's stock shot up on the news in after-hours trading – though it wiggled its way back down a bit afterwards.

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