Intel shrugs off world economic doom

Chipzilla is proving that it can still move through the global economy, immune to every weapon that its rivals can fling against it.

The outfit reported full-year revenue of $43.6 billion, operating income of $15.9 billion, and a net income of $11.7 billion, which it claims are all records. The outfit made $16.7 billion in cash from operations, paid cash dividends of $3.5 billion, and used $1.5 billion to repurchase 70 million shares of common stock.

Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO said that 2010 was the best year in Intel’s history and he thinks next year will be even better.

For the fourth-quarter, Intel posted revenue of $11.5 billion. The company reported fourth-quarter operating income of $4.3 billion, net income of $3.4 billion, again more records than Sylvio’s second-hand record emporium in Cuba Street.

The thing is that all this is happening when everyone seems keen to write off the PC industry and all the press is about mobiles and tablets. Intel’s results suggest that this is over stated.

Intel’s PC Client Group revenue increased by 21 percent which is hardly the end of the PC as we know it. Analysts have also talked about the death of the netbook, but Intel’s Atom microprocessor which runs most of the world’s netbooks made it $1.6 billion. True, it did fall by 32 percent on last year but for dying technology it did rather well.

It looks like developing countries like China are fuelling Chipzilla’s expansion and helping make up for slower growth in the United States and Europe.

But Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith sounded a word of warning that Intel’s outlook was a little lower than normal for this time of year. It was not because of mobile toys but mostly because of weakness in Europe’s economy, which still wakes him up in the morning in a cold sweat.

Despite those who thought corporate IT spending was drying up, it would appear that it had held up despite the lacklustre economy, helping sales of Intel’s high-margin server chips, he said.

Intel is still betting the farm on Ultrabooks, which are supposed to combine the best features of tablets and laptops.  It is hoped they will take over the tablet market, although the feeling is that they are too expensive to do this in a cost conscious,cash strapped economy. Still, Intel expects the Ultrabooks to account for 40 percent of the consumer PC market by the end of next year.

Chief Executive Paul Otellini expects that the release of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system next year could fuel higher PC sales and help Intel.