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Computer chip giant Intel Corporation just kicked off the Q1 earnings season for tech stocks when it reported its results a few moments ago. Judging by the after-hours trading (shares are up about 3% from the close), the market is happy with the numbers. Let's dig down into them and see what's going on.
The headline is that Intel matched the eps estimates, which is true. The consensus of analysts was for $0.41/share, or $0.03 better than the previous quarter. This is exactly what Intel reported. But this was actually a beat of the "whisper" number of $0.40. And actual income, $1.99 billion, was just a shade better than predicted.
On the top-line, revenues came in at $12.8 billion which was about $100 million short of estimates. But that was weighed against Intel's projection for the current quarter -- $13.2 billion -- which was met with a sigh of relief. That number was close to analyst estimates, thus dispelling concern that Intel would have to slash the revenues estimate today, just as it did back in March (by $1 billion), when it cited sluggish PC sales. The projection of $13.2 billion implies a robust quarterly growth of 3% which should make skittish investors happier about holding shares.
One positive to take away from this is that the strong dollar may not be hampering export-dependent companies like Intel quite as much as had been feared. One concern going forward, however, is the growth of PC sales. PC sales with "Intel inside" hit the skids in 2014 due to the rise of tablets, phones, etc. 2015 was supposed to see a continuation of that trend. But early reports, Intel's included, indicate that the "death of the PC" may have been premature.