Intel shares jump as profits, revenue top estimates

Intel delivered quarterly earnings and revenue that surpassed analysts' expectations on Tuesday, as PC sales rose about 9 percent from a year ago. Shares rose modestly after the bell.

The tech firm posted third-quarter earnings of 66 cents per share, up 12 percent from 58 cents a share in the year-earlier period. Revenue increased by 8 percent to $14.55 billion from $13.48 billion a year ago. The company said it shipped more than 100 million microprocessors during the the period and repurchased $4.2 billion shares.

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"We achieved our best-ever revenue and strong profits in the third quarter," Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said. "There is more to do, but our results give us confidence that we're successfully executing to our strategy of extending our products across a broad range of exciting new markets."

Analysts had expected Intel to post earnings of 65 cents a share on $14.45 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Visitors take pictures next to the Intel logo at Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif.
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Visitors take pictures next to the Intel logo at Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif.

After the earnings announcement, the company's shares climbed as much as 3 percent in after-hours trading, before easing.

Revenue at its data center group, which encompasses its semiconductor business, came in at $3.7 billion, up 5 percent sequentially and up 16 percent year-over-year.

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PC revenue rose 9 percent to $9.19 million, while software and sales generated $558 million in revenue, up 2 percent year-over-year.

The company's gross profit margin rose less than a percent from a year ago to 65 percent.

Looking forward, Intel expects the margin to rise to 64 percent, "plus or minus a couple of percentage points," during the fourth-quarter, while it projects fourth-quarter revenue to come in around $14.7 billion, "plus or minus $500 million."

Intel has largely outperformed its peers. As of Tuesday's close, the chipmaker had gained nearly 37 percent over the last year, while the PHLX Semiconductor Sector index and the Dow rose about 12 percent and 7 percent, respectively, over the same period.

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The PHLX is down about 15 percent from its 52-week high of $659.54. For its part, Intel is down about 10 percent from its $35.56 52-week high.

Intel recently bought a 20 percent minority stake in Tsinghua Unigroup—the parent company of China's top chip makers, Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics—in a deal valued at roughly $1.5 billion.

The move underscores Krzanich's plan to broaden the firm's footprint in fast-growing emerging markets.

"China is now the largest consumption market for smartphones and has the largest number of Internet users in the world," Krzanich said last month, in a statement.