Intel Posted Record Revenue, But Weak Outlook Scares Investors

Intel posted revenue that was record setting in 2014 for the chipmaker. Sales for the full year as well as the fourth quarter both improved by more than 6%.

However, shares of the largest chipmaker in the world fell during afterhours trading because of the company’s dismal forecast for the first quarter of 2015.

Intel’s sales for the fourth quarter increased from $13.8 billion during last year’s fourth quarter to $14.7 billion. Sales for the full year grew from $52.7 billion during 2013 to $55.9 billion.

Profits increased by 39% to end the fourth quarter at $3.7 billion and by 22% for the full year to $11.7 billion.

The company, based in Santa Clara, California exceeded expectations on Wall Street with profits of 74 cents a share for the fourth quarter and $2.30 a share for the full year. Analysts predicted earnings for the fourth quarter of 62 cents a share and $2.18 a share for 2014.

Intel’s 2015 first quarter forecast included projected revenue of $13.7 billion.

That would be an increase year over year from its first quarter of 2014 of $12.8 billion, but it left open a possibility that Intel could come in quite short of forecasts by analysts, which expected $13.8 billion to be brought in during the current quarter.

That weak guidance for the ongoing quarter increased fears over slow sales in personal computers, which in turn sent the share price of Intel down over 3% in trading after hours.

Improving sales in PCs across the entire industry gave a shot in the arm to the PC unit at Intel, which had revenue increase by 4% to over $34.6 billion during 2014.

However, PC chip sales during the fourth quarter for Intel reached $8.9 billion, but were below expectations of analysts that were $9.2 billion.

In addition, the mobile device segment of the company continued to be disappointing. For 2014, the mobile unit at Intel has sales of just over $202 million, which was down by over 85% from 2013.