Tech industry bellwether Intel has forecast a healthy 7.5% revenue growth in Q4, in an indication the sector could be poised for an upbeat quarter.
The company projected revenue of around $11.4 billion (€8.1 billion) – up from $10.6 billion in 4Q09 -, and expects gross margins to be about 67% for the quarter.
Intel cracked the $11 billion revenue mark for the first time during 3Q, growing the figure 18% year-on-year to $11.1 billion, while net profit grew 61% to $3 billion.
“Looking forward we continue to see healthy worldwide demand for computing products of all types,” Intel chief Paul Otellini said.
The growing use of Atom processors in devices ranging from Windows, Android and MeeGo tablets to the new Google TV lineup should stimulate sales growth, he said.
However, Atom sales fell 4% sequentially during 3Q, and chip ASPs remained flat.
Intel said the declines were offset by record mobile microprocessor revenues, while its PC client and data center groups both lifted their revenue by 3%.
Intel’s 4Q forecasts are slightly above analyst’s consensus of $11.3 billion revenues, a Bloomberg poll revealed.
Canaccord Genuity analyst Bobby Burleson told Reuters that “Intel has set a high bar for tech earnings. There was concern about Q4 ... and the number is better than the Street expected.”
Otellini added that he expects PC unit sales to grow by 18% this year during a conference call. “The industry is now shipping more than 1 million PCs a day,” he noted.
The boss also outlined plans to dominate the tablet PC market, stating. ““We're going to utilize all the assets at our disposal to win this segment.”
He predicted tablet sales would have a similar impact to netbooks when they first launched, taking some sales from traditional PCs, but ultimately helping grow the overall market.