High expectations hard to reach

Intel Sign

Intel boss Brian Krzanich noted a “strong finish to the year” for the world’s leading semiconductor player, though it wasn’t enough to prevent shareholders from feeling skittish.

The “strong finish” translated into $14.9 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter, up 3 percent sequentially and 1 percent year-over-year, along with operating income of $4.3 billion and net income of $3.6 billion, which itself is a gain of 16 percent compared to the previous quarter and down 1 percent year-over-year.

For the full year, Intel’s revenue totaled $55.4 billion, with operating income coming in at $14 billion and net income at $11.4 billion. Good stuff all around

“Our results for the fourth quarter marked a strong finish to the year and were consistent with expectations,” said Brian Krzanich (PDF), Intel CEO. “Our 2015 results demonstrate that Intel is evolving and our strategy is working. This year, we’ll continue to drive growth by powering the infrastructure for an increasingly smart and connected world.”

Despite how Intel feels about its results — and let’s be clear, Intel beat expectations — the company’s stock is down nearly 8.5 percent today in mid-afternoon trading. MarketWatch thinks it’s because Intel’s Data Center Group growth slowed down in the fourth quarter. After posting double-digit year-over-year revenue growth for the first three quarters of 2015, it ended the year with a more modest 5 percent bump.

Maybe that’s the culprit and maybe it isn’t — either way, the Data Center Group brought in $16 billion for the year, up 11 percent from 2014 and second only to Intel’s PC division, which added another $32.2 billion to the pile (down 8 percent year-over-year).

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