Intel, which employs over 4,000 people in Ireland, has posted a record-breaking fourth quarter, with revenues of US$8.74bn surpassing a previous record of US$8.73bn set in the third quarter of 2000, at the height of the global technology boom.
Intel’s fourth-quarter net income was US$2.2bn, up 31pc sequentially and up 107pc year-over-year. Earnings per share were US$0.33, up 32pc sequentially and up 106pc from US$0.16 in the fourth quarter of 2002.
Revenue for 2003 was US$30.1 billion, up 13pc from $26.8bn in 2002. Net income was $5.6bn, up 81pc from $3.1bn in 2002. Earnings per share were US$0.85, up 85pc from US$0.46 in 2002. For the year, the company paid cash dividends of US$524 million, or US$0.08 per share, and used US$4bn in cash to repurchase approximately 176m shares of common stock.
Looking ahead to Q1 2004, the company predicted that revenue in the first quarter is expected to be between US$7.9bn and US$8.5bn.
The company said that R&D spending is expected to be approximately US$4.8bn in 2004, as compared to US $4.4 bn in 2003. The expected increase in R&D spending is primarily driven by development of the company’s next-generation 65-nm (nanometer) process technology, scheduled for production in 2005 on 300-mm wafers. The company added that capital spending for 2004 is expected to be between US$3.6bn and $4bn, compared to US$3.7bn in 2003. Intel’s capital equipment spending is primarily targeted at 300-mm technology, which it says is providing the company with ongoing capital efficiency improvements.
“We ended the year on a high note as ongoing strength in emerging markets coupled with improving demand in established markets drove revenue to record levels,” said Craig Barrett, Intel chief executive officer. “Intel’s substantial investments in capital and R&D over the past few years allowed us to ship record microprocessor units in 2003 and introduce exciting new products such as Intel Centrino mobile technology.
“In 2004, our focus will be to drive double-digit growth through technology leadership and global market expansion, and by pursuing adjacent opportunities in communications and the digital home, while using our 90-nanometer and 300-millimeter factories to reduce costs and improve profitability”, Barrett said.
By John Kennedy