Now raising intellectual capital
By Eric Auchard
LONDON (Reuters) – Intel Corp has cheered up investors by once again making forecasts about its financial performance. The trouble with reading too much into its rebound, however, is that this is largely due to productivity gains of its own making, rather than a broader awakening of demand.
To be sure, Intel’s revenue, profit and margins surged past all published analyst expectations for the second quarter. Partly, this was merely the “snapback” that occurred after Intel throttled back production to as low as 25 percent of factory capacity in the first quarter, amid a glut of unsold chips and shriveling demand.
Things got so bad that it quit commenting on its outlook for the first two quarters of 2009.
The bigger news was its answer to the question of what was happening in the second half: Third-quarter margins should improve to around 53 percent on revenue around $8.5 billion, and could move up toward historic high levels by year-end. The comments sent Intel shares up as much as eight percent and sparked broad-based buying in technology shares around the globe.