Last week saw Intel posting its fourth quarterly earnings that showed that the tech company had enjoyed better than expected revenues. However, this wasn’t enough to stop Intel’s stock price falling amid the difficult market conditions. So can Intel continue to suffer amid growing competition from Samsung or will its next-generation server chip be its saving grace?
It’s been a terrible start to the year for Intel with its stock price dropping to $47.73 compared to $68.26 in April 2021. Despite the positive earnings report, shares in the chip company slipped by a further 3% although there was a slight recovery later on.
There have been concerns that Intel’s Client Computing Group – its largest business – hasn’t been performing as well as it should. This was something mirrored in the report that showed that this sector was down 7% on a year-over-year basis to just over $10 billion. This was a largely expected drop as a result of shifting sales from quarter to quarter.
However, there was also an admission that supply constraints had been a problem with issues in getting key parts such as ethernet power controllers. Such logistical issues have also dogged other big tech brands ranging from Apple to Tesla in recent months.
Analysts had only expected Intel to record a fourth quarterly revenue of $18.31 billion compared to the $19.5 billion that was eventually reported. This was due to a strong and steady performance in PC sales contributing to a 16% growth in its personal computer group compared to a year ago. There were also healthy rises for the Intel Data Center Group that saw its revenue boosted by 20%.
Big expectations for 2022
Intel is showing no signs of slowing down in its bid to dominate the chip market. It has recently announced plans for a $20 billion factory in Ohio that could become the world’s largest chip plant. This would be set to launch in 2025 and it signals a newfound commitment to investing in boosting manufacturing capacity. While this would see Intel’s margin shrink, it would be a bold move to face the challenges experienced by the chip manufacturing industry.
With ongoing supply shortages in semiconductor chips for everything from vehicles to mobile devices, boosting production capacity is going to be critical for Intel’s long-term success. Intel has recently seen its lead in the global chip market overtaken by Samsung who has enjoyed growth in logic IC and memory chip segments.
However, hopes are high that Intel’s next-gen server chip – Sapphire Rapids – should remedy these issues. The chip is due to start shipping this quarter after concerns that a new production process would mean that it wouldn’t be ready in time. There are also hopes that Intel will make more moves towards the self-driving car market, as its Mobileye venture is looking to go public following a 7% increase in annual sales.