There are some phenomena you can set your clocks by. Things like death, taxes, the indomitable service of your postal carrier, and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) doing all right regardless of market conditions.
The processor guru posted another strong fourth quarter last night. In spite of slow PC sales worldwide and dour comments from thick-as-thieves computing buddy Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) over the last week, the chip giant pulled through with $0.61 of earnings per share on $13.9 billion in sales. That's comfortably ahead of strangely static analyst estimates, and record results all around.
Granted, the 22% year-over-year sales leap was helped by about $1 billion of contributions from recent high-profile acquisitions. Backing out sales of McAfee security products and Intel Mobile Communications (nee Infineon's wireless division), you still get a healthy 12% organic growth rate. That's not at all bad when industry analysts see PC markets shrinking by 1.4% and Microsoft had to settle for a 5% sales gain.
On a year-over-year basis, PC chips actually posted 17% growth to outpace data center products with just 8% higher revenue and the collapsing Atom architecture.
So we don't get an earnings-miss panic tonight. Intel shares climbed about 1.5% higher in after-hours trading, so there's no opportunistic buy-in window here.
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night sways Intel's business. The Atom line may be failing, but other segments make up for that shortfall -- and the company plans to introduce the first Intel-powered smartphones and tablets in 2012. Don't change the channel. In fact, add Intel to your watchlist right now so you can keep a close eye on Chipzilla's mobile plans.