Sandy Bridge boosts Intel’s financial forecast

The technology sector could end the year on a high if the rest of the industry matches Intel’s predicted strong fourth-quarter sales.

Sandy Bridge boosts Intel's financial forecast

According to the chipmaker, resilient demand from emerging markets and corporate customers should offset weak consumer spending and boost revenues and margins.

Chief executive Paul Otellini said early demand for Sandy Bridge – its next-generation chip combining central processing and graphical functions – was much greater than originally anticipated by Wall Street.

“Intel has set a high bar for tech earnings,” said Canaccord Genuity analyst Bobby Burleson. “There was concern about Q4 … and the number is better than the Street expected.”

Intel forecast revenue of $11bn to $11.8bn in the final three months of 2010.

The news prompted a rise in chipmaker shares across the spectrum, with Intel and AMD climbing 1% in the US, while Hynix and Elpida Memory gained 2.4% and 2.3% respectively in Asia.

However, analysts were not getting carried away with bright predictions, saying that the PC industry had a lot of ground to make up.

“PCs have been beaten up a lot so sentiment is low enough that it’s hard to disappoint,” said Patrick Wang, an analyst at Wedbush.

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