Intel’s Strong Q4 Earnings Outshadowed by Weak Outlook: 5 Key Insights for Investors to Take Note

January 30, 2024

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), a major player in the semiconductor industry, recently disclosed its Q4 results and provided an outlook for Q1 that has stirred mixed reactions in the market. While facing certain headwinds, Intel’s journey towards a turnaround seems on track. Here’s an in-depth look at the key aspects of Intel’s recent performance and future prospects.

1. Q4 Performance: Strong, But Mixed Q1 Outlook

Intel’s Q4 results came in solid, with revenues and non-GAAP EPS of $15.4 billion and $0.54 respectively, surpassing estimates. However, the outlook for Q1 paints a different picture, significantly below the anticipated figures, primarily due to weaker trends in the core PC and Server markets, along with declines in the MBLY and PSG segments. This indicates a challenging start to the year, yet Intel’s management remains confident about a revenue uptick as the year progresses.

2. Manufacturing and Product Execution on Track

Despite the turbulent market conditions, Intel’s manufacturing and product execution are reported to be on schedule. The company plans to unveil its updated process technology roadmap at the upcoming IFS event, which is anticipated to enhance market sentiment. This development is crucial for Intel’s long-term strategy and market position.

3. Emerging Opportunities in AI

While Intel may not gain immediate recognition for its AI endeavors, the growing pipeline for Gaudi accelerators, valued at over $2 billion, is a positive indicator. Management expects this segment to start contributing significantly to revenue in the second half of 2024, marking a promising venture into the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence.

4. Segment Performance: A Mixed Bag

Intel’s Data Center and AI Group (DCAI) showcased relative strength, thanks partly to the positive impact of Sapphire Rapids CPU on ASPs. However, the Programmable Solutions Group (PSG) experienced a double-digit decline. The PC-centric segment (CCG) performed better than expected, driven by a cyclical recovery and stronger ASPs from commercial and gaming mixes.

5. Foundry Services and Future Growth

Intel’s foundry services are gaining traction, with the company now serving four customers for its 18A process. The lifetime value of its current foundry engagements is estimated at around $10 billion, signaling a significant opportunity for growth and diversification.

Immediate challenges but long term growth opportunities remain exciting

Intel’s latest financial disclosures highlight a company at a pivotal moment. While facing immediate challenges, particularly in its core markets, Intel is making strides in areas like AI and foundry services, which could redefine its future trajectory. The company’s commitment to innovation and adaptation, amidst a rapidly evolving technological landscape, keeps it as a key player to watch in the semiconductor sector.

Disclaimer: ProsperUs Head of Content & Investment Lead Billy Toh doesn’t own shares of any companies mentioned.

Billy Toh

Billy is deeply committed to making investment accessible and understandable to everyone, a principle that drives his engagement with the capital markets and his long-term investment strategies. He is currently the Head of Content & Investment Lead for Prosperus and a SGX Academy Trainer. His extensive experience spans roles as an economist at RHB Investment Bank, focusing on the Thailand and Philippines markets, and as a financial journalist at The Edge Malaysia. Additionally, his background includes valuable time spent in an asset management firm. Outside of finance, Billy enjoys meaningful conversations over coffee, keeps fit as a fitness enthusiast, and has a keen interest in technology.

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