Intel Corp. posted strong fourth-quarter earnings that benefited from an upswing in personal-computer shipments and robust demand for chips to power data centers. The chip maker said adjusted earnings per share in the quarter rose to $1.52 from $1.28 in the year-prior period. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting $1.25 per share on an adjusted basis. Sales in the period rose 8% to $20.21 billion, beating the $19.23 billion analysts had expected. The company's shares rose around 6% in after-hours trading. Intel's results are only the latest sign technology companies expect continued healthy demand at the start of this year despite wider expectations for only a modest economic rebound this year. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., the world's largest contract chip maker, last week forecast a 42% jump in sales for the current quarter. European chip maker STMicroelectronics NV on Thursday promised solid revenue growth for the year. Intel benefited from bumper sales of high-margin products, including its most advanced processors for data centers. That demand helped drive earnings significantly higher than Wall Street and Intel had projected, Chief Financial Officer George Davis said in an interview. Intel's bottom line was also padded by gains on investments, he said.
By Ipek Ozkardeskaya