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Intel Misses Guidance, Raises 2006 Capex

MANHASSET, N.Y. — Intel Corp. posted net earnings of $2.5 billion, or 40 cents per share on sales of $10.2 billion in the fourth quarter, with revenue falling below the company’s updated guidance for revenue of $10.4 billion to $10.6 billion.

In December, Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) narrowed its fourth-quarter guidance from the original range of $10.2 billion to $10.8 billion. The move raised the ire of analysts, who expected Intel to perform better.

In total, Intel’s fourth-quarter sales were up 2 percent sequentially and up 6 percent from a year ago. Profits were up 23 percent sequentially and 16 percent from a year ago.

Intel attributed the lower revenue to lower-than-expected shipments and falling average selling prices for processors sold to the desktop PC market. During a conference call with analysts, Intel CEO Paul Otellini added that an inventory build up, along with continuing chip set shortages, contributing to the less-than-stellar results.

A telltale sign of Intel’s fourth-quarter woes were gross margins, which at 61.8 percent fell below the company’s mid-quarter guidance of 63 percent. Intel cited a product mix shift to non-microprocessor products as the reason.

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