Intel Announces Q2 Results: Below Expectations, but Still Good

Subject: Editorial | July 17, 2013 - 09:34 PM |
Tagged: silvermont, quarterly results, money, Lenovo, k900, Intel, atom, 22 nm tri-gate, 14 nm

Intel announced their Q2 results for this year, and it did not quite meet expectations.  When I say expectations, I usually mean “make absolutely obscene amounts of money”.  It seems that Intel was just shy of estimates and margins were only slightly lower than expected.  That being said, Intel reported revenue of $12.8 billion US and a net income of $2 billion US.  Not… too… shabby.

Analysts were of course expecting higher, but it seems as though the PC slowdown is in fact having a material effect on the market.  Intel earlier this quarter cut estimates, so this was not exactly a surprise.  Margins came in around 58.3%, but these are expected to recover going into Q3.  Intel is certainly still in a strong position as millions of PCs are being shipped every quarter and they are the dominant CPU maker in its market.

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Intel has been trying to get into the mobile market as it still exhibits strong growth not only now, but over the next several years as things become more and more connected.  Intel had ignored this market for some time, much to their dismay.  Their Atom based chips were slow to improve and typically used a last generation process node for cost savings.  In the face of a strong ARM based portfolio of products from companies like Qualcomm, Samsung, and Rockchip, the Intel Atom was simply not an effective solution until the latest batch of chips were available from Intel.  Products like the Atom Z2580, which powers the Lenovo K900 phone, were late to market as compared to other 28 nm products such as the Snapdragon series from Qualcomm.

Intel expects the next generation of Atom being built on its 22 nm Tri-Gate process, Silvermont, to be much more competitive with the latest generation offerings from its ARM based competitors.  Unfortunately for Intel, we do not expect to see Silvermont based products until later in Q3 with availability in late Q4 or Q1 2014.  Intel needs to move chips, but this will be a very different market than what they are used to.  These SOCs have decent margins, but they are nowhere near what Intel can do with their traditional notebook, desktop, and server CPUs.

To help cut costs going forward, it seems as though Intel will be pulling back on its plans for 14 nm production.  Expenditures and floor space/equipment for 14 nm will be cut back as compared to what previous plans had held.  Intel still is hoping to start 14 nm production at the end of this year with the first commercial products to hit at the end of 2014.  There are questions as to how viable 14 nm is as a fully ramped process in 2014.  Eventually 14 nm will work as advertised, but it appears as though the kinks were much more complex than anticipated given how quickly Intel ramped 22 nm.

Intel has plenty of money, a dominant position in the x86 world, and a world class process technology on which to base future products on.  I would say that they are still in very, very good shape.  The market is ever changing and Intel is still fairly nimble given their size.  They also recognize (albeit sometimes a bit later than expected) shifts in the marketplace and they invariably craft a plan of attack which addresses their shortcomings.  While Intel revenue seems to have peaked last year, they are addressing new markets aggressively as well as holding onto their dominant position in notebooks, desktops, and server markets.  Intel is expecting Q3 to be up, but overall sales throughout 2013 to be flat as compared to 2012.  Have I mentioned they still cleared $2 billion in a down quarter?

Source: Intel

July 18, 2013 | 12:44 AM - Posted by pdjblum

hey jj(aka just joshing)(aka josh),

you sound like a wall street analyst

July 18, 2013 | 12:50 AM - Posted by dragosmp (not verified)

I suppose Intel still makes lots of money, but I(m wondering if the PC sales slowdown isn't also somehow related to the lack of much (if any) CPU performance gain in the last few years. Performance per watt went up, but performance in itself hasn't. If power stays relatively cheap what's the reason to upgrade?

July 18, 2013 | 11:05 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

People are buying ARM based ChromeBooks instead of Atom based "Netbooks", and many people get the ARM based chromebook and install a full Linux distro on it, and BAM, no sale for the AnTuTu fudgers at Intel, and no sale for TIFKAM forcers at M$! Intel is having a hard time getting it power usage Ducks in order, whereas ARM is the low power King! Price, is the biggest factor for the OEMs, along with power usage, and throw in Intel's past and present monopolistic practices with OEMs and x86, and It's NO SOUP FOR YOU, Intel, as far as the majority of mobile device OEMs are concerned! Apple's Phones will continue to trounce Intel's oranges in the marketplace, in fact Intel will have a very hard time getting its products into any mobile SKU, other than the current Mobile customers, that Intel has given sweetheart deals, in order to attempt that OEM lockin that Intel is so infamous for!

Intel is to late in Reading that ARM based sign on the Wall!
The Mobile world runs on Free ARM and Linux, and not the cuffs and chains of Intel or M$!

July 18, 2013 | 12:52 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It seems INTEL is and has been banking on market inertia (standard replacement/upgrade cycles) and their dominant position in the market in order to sell their desktop CPUs as opposed to innovation and improvement. It's like the opposite approach companies like apple and samsung take - INTEL no longer bothers with gotta have enticement such as better features, faster processors, improved chipsets (INCREASE THE FUCKING PCH QPI WIDTH FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!) and the like.

Nope, instead in the desktop space they just coast on their past glories - fat, sluggish, and long bereft of any motivation for improvement. Sloth is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason INTEL.

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