Weak desktop sales can't hold down Intel's Q1 financials

Intel's first-quarter financials are in, and they paint a mixed picture of the company's fortunes. Compared to the same quarter last year, revenue was flat at $12.8 billion, meeting the firm's revised expectations. Net income rose 3% to $2.0 billion, while gross margin gained less than a point to reach 60.5%. Here's the year-over-year breakdown:

  Q1 2015 Q1 2014 Change
Revenue $12.8 billion $12.8 billion -
Operating income $2.6 billion $2.5 billion up 4%
Net income $2.0 billion $1.9 billion up 3%
Gross margin 60.5% 59.6% up 0.9 points

The newly formed Client Computing Group contributed $7.4 billion to the revenue total, down 8% from Q1'14. Volumes for desktop chips dropped 16%, a decline blamed in part on slowing sales to small and medium businesses. Notebook platform volumes grew 3%, though, and tablet hardware surged 45% to seven million units. Tellingly, the financial statements only mention smartphones to explain that they're lumped into the client totals.

Falling revenue in the client group was offset by substantial increases elsewhere. Intel's datacenter, Internet-of-Things, and NAND divisions all enjoyed double-digit increases over last year. Datacenter revenue jumped 19%, with average selling prices rising 5%—not bad for a group with traditionally high margins.

Looking forward, Intel expects $13.2 billion revenue and 62% gross margin for Q2, plus or minus the usual margin for error. The yearly revenue outlook is "approximately flat."

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