Intel Corp reported fourth quarter figures at the top of expectations yesterday, but dampened the euphoria with a conservative tone on its first quarter outlook and a further delay to the launch of its next notebook processor line.
The vendor’s Dothan processor, the 90-nanometer successor to its Centrino mobile line, was originally due by the close of last year. Expectations were then massaged towards a first quarter, 2004 launch.
Yesterday, however, Intel president and COO Paul Otellini said that because of late circuit modifications, the processor will not now ship until the second quarter. However, he said this would have no significant impact on the company’s first quarter figures.
For the first quarter, the vendor expects revenue between $7.9bn and $8.5bn, with gross margin of 60%, plus or minus a couple of points, down on the fourth quarter’s 63.6%. Full year gross margin should be 62%.
Analysts currently expect first quarter revenue of $8.2bn, and the broad range Intel set, together with the expected drop in margin gave some analysts pause for thought yesterday, even as they considered the firm’s even better than expected fourth quarter.
Intel said it had seen ongoing strength in emerging markets, as well as improving demand in established markets. It also saw slightly higher ASPs in its Intel Architecture Group.
Once again, it was IAG that supplied all the vendor’s operating profit, and at $7.7bn, the vast bulk of its revenues. The Intel Communications Group lost $49m on revenue of $592m, while the Wireless Communications Group lost $97m on revenue of $469m.
For the full year, Intel reported sales up 13% to $30.1bn, while net income was $5.6bn, up 81% on the year.
This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire.