Santa Clara (CA) - Intel gave investors a late Christmas present on Tuesday when it presented its fourth quarter and year-end 2004 results. Especially strong demand for its processors, chipsets and motherboards as well as a solid Flash and wireless business boosted revenues in Q4 by more than ten percent over the same period in 2003.
The company announced that its revenues reached a new record level at almost $9.6 billion. This represents a 13 percent increase from $8.5 billion the firm reported for the third quarter 2004. For the year, Intel reported revenue of $34.2 billion, up 13.5 percent from 2003 and higher than the previous record of $33.7 billion set in 2000.
Despite higher revenues, earnings were down about two percent $2.1 billion from the same period in 2003. Sequentially, revenues were up 11 percent. Net income for 2004 was $7.5 billion, up 33 percent form $5.6 billion in 2003. Earnings per share were $1.16, up 36 percent from 85 cents in 2003. Intel also paid record cash dividends of $1 billion, announced two doublings of the company’s cash dividend and used a $7.5 billion to repurchase 300.5 million shares of common stock.
Higher revenues were mainly attributed to better than expected sales of enterprise and mobile processors, the company said. Shipments of the 64-bit-equipped Xeon chip exceeded one million units over the past two quarters. The next-generation Centrino platform "Sonoma", scheduled to be announce January 19, began shipping for revenue during the quarter, according to Intel.
More than 80 percent of its processor shipments to the computing industry were based on 300mm wafer technology and a 90nm production process. Intel said it made progress in developing its 65nm technology which included a demonstration of software running on the upcoming Yonah chip, a dual-core microprocessor for notebooks. The first facility to produce 65nm chips will be Fab12 in Arizona. The Fab will begin producing 65nm processors late this year and start volume production in 2006.
In contrast to than AMD, which yesterday said it faced competitive challenges for its Flash sales in the fourth quarter, Intel said that the technology saw strong growth in demand for its Flash memory and regained segment leadership in NOR flash memory, that was held in the previous quarters by AMD’s Spansion division.