Intel’s Otellini says PC industry is on the road to recovery

15 Apr 2009

PC sales in the first quarter bottomed out and the industry is returning to normal growth, according to Intel CEO Paul Otellini, who said that Intel revenues of US$7.1bn were down 13pc on the previous quarter and 26pc down on last year’s quarter.

The microprocessor manufacturing giant, which in the last year brought about a low-power, high-performance revolution in the form of netbooks and future ultra-mobile computers thanks to its Atom processor, saw its net income jump 176pc on the previous quarter, but this is still down 55pc on the same quarter a year ago.

Intel, which employs around 5,000 people in Ireland, revealed that earnings per share were up 175pc over Q4 2008 to 11 cents in Q1 2009.

“We believe PC sales bottomed out during the first quarter, and that the industry is returning to normal seasonal patterns,” Otellini (pictured) said.

“Intel has adapted well to the current economic environment and we’re benefiting from disciplined execution and agility.

“We’re delivering a product portfolio that meets the needs of the changing market, spanning affordable computing to high-performance, energy-efficient computing,” Otellini said.

Intel said that restructuring and asset impairment charges were US$74m, lower than the expectation of $160m.

In its business outlook for Q2, Intel warned that ongoing uncertainty in global economic conditions made it difficult to predict product demand, and warned that Intel’s actual results may “differ materially” from expectations.

“Consequently, the company is providing less quantitative guidance than in previous quarters,” Intel said.

The company wouldn’t provide a revenue outlook for the second quarter, adding that it may update its business outlook at certain points during the quarter. For the full year, Intel said R&D spending of between US$10.4bn and US$10.6bn will be unchanged.

In a cryptic note, Intel also said that from the close of business on 29 May to the company’s second-quarter results, it will observe a “quiet period” during which all business outlooks should be considered to be “historical” prior to this quiet period.

The company warned that economic uncertainty continues to bite, that the world is still a fragile place and that business and consumer spending could change dramatically in response to negative financial news, no doubt affecting product demand.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years