Intel on pace for worst day since 2020 on weak outlook

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Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks during an event called AI Everywhere in New York, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023. 

Intel shares slumped 12% on Friday and headed for their steepest drop since July 2020, after the chipmaker issued a forecast for the current quarter that came in far short of analysts’ estimates.

In its earnings report late Thursday, Intel beat on profit and revenue, but the chipmaker said it expected adjusted earnings of 13 cents per share this quarter on between $12.2 billion and $13.2 billion in sales. Analysts were expecting earnings of 33 cents per share on $14.15 billion of revenue, according to LSEG, formerly Refinitiv.

Intel’s revenue guidance for the first quarter was below every analyst’s estimate, according to CNBC research.

While some parts of the semiconductor industry are booming because of strong demand for artificial intelligence chips, other server parts, like the central processing units (CPUs) Intel makes, don’t have the same kind of momentum.

The consensus analyst estimate for Intel’s earnings for the second, third, and fourth quarters of Intel’s 2024 all fell on Friday.

Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger told analysts on the earnings call that first-quarter sales performance would take a hit because of weakness at Mobileye, where Intel owns a majority stake, as well as in the company’s programmable chip unit.

He also said the company’s core businesses of PC and server chips remained “healthy” and would report sales at the low end of the seasonal range.

“While such a large miss is clearly a negative, we are somewhat encouraged that the drivers of the incremental weakness are largely outside of INTC’s ‘core’ PC/DC CPU segments,” Deutsche Bank analyst Seymour Ross wrote in a note on Friday.

As of Friday afternoon, Intel shares were trading at $43.68. They’re down 13% for the year after almost doubling in 2023.

WATCH: Intel stock sinks as early 2024 outlook comes up short

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