Intel announces 4Q profit climb

Intel Corp. posted a fourth-quarter profit that trounced Wall Street expectations Thursday, as the world’s largest microchip maker became the first major technology company to report results for the period.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company reported a profit of $2.3 billion, or 40 cents per share, during the final quarter of 2009. The income was nearly 10 times higher than the $234 million, or 4 cents per share, that Intel reported for the fourth quarter of 2008.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecasted earnings of 30 cents per share. Intel’s (INTC) quarterly sales rose to $10.6 billion, 28% higher than the $8.2 billion in the same period of 2008r. The revenue also topped analysts’ forecast of $10.2 billion.

For the full year, Intel posted a profit of $4.4 billion, or 77 cents per share, on revenue of $35.1 billion. That compared to earnings of $5.3 billion, or 92 cents per share, on revenue of $37.6 billion in 2008. For the current quarter, Intel expects revenue between $9.3 billion and $10.1 billion. Analysts have forecast it to range between $9 billion and $10 billion.

Shares of Intel rose nearly 2% in after-hours trading

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