Intel offers upbeat sales forecast for fourth quarter

City A.M. Reporter
INTEL forecast strong fourth-quarter sales and margins as resilient demand from emerging markets and corporations offset weak consumer spending, raising hopes that the technology sector could end 2010 on a strong note.

Intel’s forecast for a better-than-expected December quarter gross margin of around 67 per cent affirmed hopes that higher-end spending on servers or data centres may help offset the loss of computer sales to a booming tablet segment.

The world’s largest chipmaker forecast revenue of $11bn (£7bn) to $11.8bn in the final three months of 2010, in line with analysts’ expectations of $11.32bn.

Its third-quarter net profit was $2.96bn, or 52 cents a share, versus $1.86bn in the year-ago quarter. That was higher than the 50 cents per share expected by analysts. Revenue in the quarter ended 25 September was $11.1bn – slightly above the $10.99bn expected.

Intel shares rose one per cent in after-hours trading.