Five Key Quotes from Intel on the PC Industry

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by: David Jackson

Here are five key quotes from Intel's conference call. They're taken from the Intel transcript which we published a few hours after the call ended:

1. Revenue growth

Better-than-expected demand in the microprocessor and chipset businesses led to record second quarter revenue of $9.5 billion. Compared to the second quarter of 2007, revenue grew 9%, with gross margin up more than eight points. Operating profit was up 67% year over year and operating income as a percentage of revenue was up eight points year over year to 24%.

2. Weaker than expected margins from cheap notebooks

Microprocessor unit sales were above the seasonal pattern and average selling prices were lower... Gross margin percentage of 55.4% was up over one-and-a-half points from the first quarter and up over eight points from the second quarter of 2007. Versus the midpoint of the outlook range set in April, second quarter gross margin was down half-a-point. A little less than a point decline came from average selling prices being lower, primarily due to the growth in shipments and the lower-priced segments of the notebook market. [Later in the Q&A] It was what I would call the traditional notebook market... as that is now more than 50% of the market we’re seeing a lot of unit growth in emerging markets. We’re seeing growth in channels such as the retail channels. That growth is good for us but it tends to be at a lower price point.

3. Notebooks, desktops and servers

We really have seen demand holding up across the different segments of the computing-related business, with particular strength in the notebook growth that we spoke about at some of these price points. And then in the server market, I think the strength of our product line really benefited us in Q1. Q2 tends to be a seasonally lower quarter for servers but I would expect that to also be strong as we get into the second-half. I think underlying your question is demand. We saw demand pretty normal through the second quarter across the segments of our business and across the different geographies.

4. Demand from China

...specifically in China, the quarter had an early interruption, obviously, with the Chengdu earthquake and Intel and virtually everyone that I know that operates in China had some impact early in the quarter from the disruption of sales for essentially a big part of the country, the western part of the country. But having -- and that notwithstanding, the other trends in China are very good. Olympics build-up has got a lot of excitement. There’s WiMAX trials on notebooks in China for the yachting events and a lot of excitement around that. So I would expect that as the replacement machines and rebuilding schools and so forth happen in China, that there will be some recovery from the demand that was lost earlier this quarter.

5. Guidance of better gross margins

We are planning for revenue to be between $10 billion and $10.6 billion. The midpoint of this range would be an increase of 9% from the second quarter. On a year-to-year basis, the outlook anticipates revenue growth of 2%. Excluding the decline in NOR revenue, the growth would be approximately 6% year over year. Our expectation for gross margin percentage in the third quarter is 58%, plus or minus a couple of points, 2.5 points higher than the second quarter as microprocessor unit volume increases in the seasonally up third quarter and as unit costs decline on 45-nanometer products.