Modest server growth stands out in a flat Q4 2015 for Intel

Intel's fourth-quarter 2015 financial results are in. The company reported revenue of $14.9 billion for the quarter, up 1% compared to Q4 2014, and operating income of $4.3 billion, down 3% from the same time last year. Gross margin shrank 1.1% to 64.3%.

  Q4 2015 Q4 2014 Change
Revenue $14.9 billion $14.7 billion up 1%
Operating income $4.3 billion $4.5 billion down 3%
Net income $3.6 billion $3.7 billion down 1%
Gross margin 64.3% 65.4% down 1.1%

The company's Client Computing Group took in $8.8 billion, a 1% decline compared to this time last year. According to the company's CFO commentary, desktop platform volumes (which account for both processors and chipsets) fell 9% year-on-year, but desktop average selling prices rose 9%. Notebook platform volumes experienced a 10% year-on-year decline, but average selling prices increased 6% on that basis. The company says its tablet volumes fell a precipitous 33% compared to a year ago, but average selling prices were up "significantly."

That news aside, Intel says its shipments of 14-nm processors made up more than 50% of its Client Computing Group volume, and it says its Skylake chips have received an increasingly enthusiastic response from the market.

The Data Center Group raked in $4.3 billion, up 4% compared to last quarter and 5% year-on-year. It appears the strong growth the company experienced in this sector in recent quarters may be coming to an end, though. In Q3 2015, the company posted 8% sequential and 12% year-on-year growth for its server division, while Q2 produced 10% year-on-year growth.

The Internet of Things Group had revenue of $625 million, a 6% year-on-year increase, while the $543 million of revenue from the company's software and services segments was down 3% compared to Q4 2015.

For the first quarter of 2016, Intel expects revenue of $14 billion, plus or minus $500 million, while gross margin is expected to fall to around 58%. Those projections include numbers from FPGA maker Altera, of which Intel concluded its acquisition in late December.

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