After the bell Thursday,
) reported its 4th quarter and fiscal 2013 earnings. The giant
chipmaker missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings per
share (EPS) by a penny (51 cents) but produced sales about $100K
higher than expectations ($13.8 billion) for the quarter.
We've gotten used to these types of reports from Intel over the
past several quarters; analysts rarely revise their earnings
estimates for the company, and whether Intel beats or misses, the
surprise is typically in the single-digits percentage-wise.
Why INTC stock is falling in the after-market, however -- aside
from traders climbing down a bit from the 52-week highs set for
the shares on Wednesday -- may have more to do with fiscal 2014
guidance, which is "approximately flat" with the $52.7 billion
the company brought in for fiscal 2013. Why this carries extra
weight is because Intel investors -- and that of its
), as well -- are still awaiting increased enterprise spending,
which has been lackluster of late. Apparently, as of now Intel
doesn't see this picking up materially over the next 12 months,
In addition, the long, slow migration from PC desktop chips to
mobile units is another of Intel's big challenges. While all the
big chip-makers have been losing market share to those companies
more laser-focused on smartphones and tablets, Intel's early
reporting slot for earnings season helps telegraph a bit of what
we may expect to see from other Big Tech firms like
) in the weeks ahead.
What Intel's earnings report indicates is that, on both the
cyclical corporate spending narrative and the secular shift out
of desktop equipment, conditions remain in "slog-through" mode.
Perhaps they're practicing the art of low expectations going
forward, but finishing off the previous year's final quarter with
a minor negative earnings surprise doesn't really show much of a
silver lining. Let's see what the other Big Tech firms have to
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