Intel posts modest revenue growth

If Gartner's latest estimates are any indication, the PC market isn't faring too well. Shipments were purportedly down 0.1% last quarter, and they've been continually underwhelming for almost two straight years now.

Apparently, though, poor market conditions haven't stopped Intel from enjoying continued sales growth. The chipmaker's freshly published second-quarter results list revenue of $13.5 billion, up 4% over the same same quarter a year back. Profits slipped by about 7% year-over-year, but they were up 3% from the first quarter of 2012.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini comments, "The second quarter was highlighted by solid execution with continued strength in the data center and multiple product introductions in Ultrabooks and smartphones."

  Q2 2011 Q1 2012 Q2 2012
Revenue $13.0 billion $12.9 billion $13.5 billion
Net income $3.0 billion $2.7 billion $2.8 billion
Gross margin 61.0% 64.0% 63.4%

Otellini only mentions inauspicious PC market conditions in reference to Intel's forecast for the ongoing quarter. "As we enter the third quarter, our growth will be slower than we anticipated due to a more challenging macroeconomic environment," he says. Nevertheless, Intel expects third-quarter revenue to reach $14.3 billion with a gross margin of 61-65%, which wouldn't compare unfavorably with the $14.2 billion revenue and 63.4% margin it posted for Q3 2011. The chipmaker expects revenue growth of 3-5% for the whole of 2012, as well.

All of this tells us AMD might be underperforming compared to its chief rival in the CPU market. A week ago, AMD warned that its second-quarter results wouldn't meet expectations, with revenue predicted to fall by "approximately 11%" instead of rising by 0-3% as previously anticipated. AMD blamed the revised forecast on slumping demand in China and Europe as well as a "weaker consumer buying environment" that lowered its sales to PC makers.

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