SAN MATEO (AP) — Intel posted a fourth-quarter earnings report that was slightly better than Wall Street forecasts, but its stock still fell in late trading Thursday amid signs of a continued slump in the personal computer business.
The giant chipmaker said it had net income of $3.61 billion on revenue of $14.91 billion for the quarter that ended in December. Profit fell 1 percent from the same period a year earlier, while sales were up 1 percent.
Earnings amounted to 74 cents a share. Analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research were expecting earnings of 63 cents a share on revenue of $14.8 billion.
Santa Clara, California-based Intel also issued a forecast for the current quarter that was slightly better than analysts were expecting. Intel said it expects revenue in the range of $13.5 billion to $14.5 billion. The midpoint of that range is higher than analysts’ average forecast of $13.7 billion.
Intel reported a 5 percent increase in revenue from processors for computers used in big data centers, and a 6 percent gain in sales of chips used in appliances and other “smart” devices, which the company calls its “Internet of Things” business. But the company also saw a 1 percent drop in sales from its biggest division, which supplies chips for PCs and tablets.
CEO Brian Krzanich has promised to increase sales of chips and other components for new tech products, including drones, robots, wearable computers and Internet-connected appliances. But the division that supplies chips for PCs still accounts for more than half the company’s revenue. That division has seen a steady decline in sales as consumers and businesses are buying fewer PCs.
Intel shares have fallen 5 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has dropped roughly 6 percent. Shares closed Thursday at $32.74, up 2.6 percent for the day, but they dropped below $31.65 in late trading after the earnings report.