On Oct. 25, chip giant Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) reported its third-quarter financial results, and there's really only one way to describe the company's performance in the quarter as well as its outlook for the remainder of the year: stunning.
Without further ado, let's dive into what the chipmaker delivered for its investors.
Big third quarter, big fourth quarter guide
Intel reported sales of $19.2 billion in the third quarter, up 19% from the same period a year ago. That figure was well ahead of the high-end of the revenue guidance of between $17.6 billion and $18.6 billion the company gave last quarter. Earnings per share (EPS) on a non-GAAP basis of $1.40 per share grew 39% year over year. Intel's guidance had targeted $1.15 per share, give or take $0.05, so the company crushed it on EPS, too.
For the fourth quarter, Intel is anticipating revenue of $19 billion -- down a smidgen from the levels that it saw in the third quarter -- with non-GAAP EPS set to come in at $1.22. These figures are well ahead of analysts' consensus of $18.39 billion and $1.08 billion, respectively. At the midpoints of Intel's fourth-quarter guidance, the company is set to enjoy about 11.4% revenue growth and roughly 13% non-GAAP EPS growth during this period.
Naturally, the company -- for the third time in a row -- increased the midpoints of its non-GAAP full-year revenue and EPS guidance to $71.2 billion and $4.53, respectively, well-outpacing analyst expectations of $69.54 billion and $4.16, respectively. If Intel achieves those figures, then it will deliver 13.4% revenue and almost 31% EPS growth in 2018.
In its earnings press release, the company said that these results were "driven by broad business strength and customer preference for performance-leading products." If you look at the numbers that Intel provided, this statement is spot-on.
Intel's biggest business -- its client computing group (CCG) -- delivered revenue growth of 16% to $10.23 billion. Sales of the company's notebook platforms were up 8% year over year and average selling prices grew 4%. Intel's desktop platform shipments grew by 1% and average selling prices surged 10%. Total CCG platform revenue hit $9.02 billion in the third quarter, up about 11% year over year.
Intel's CCG adjacency revenue -- that's auxiliary components like Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combination chips and cellular modems -- was up 66.3% year over year to $1.21 billion, undoubtedly helped by the fact that the company won the entirety of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone modem orders for the current iPhone product cycle. Intel said in its earnings presentation that its cellular modem sales popped 131% year over year during the quarter.
CCG operating income rose almost 25.9%, outpacing revenue.
The story was similar over in the company's data center group (DCG), too, which saw sales rise an eye-popping 26% year over year to $6.14 billion. DCG platform unit volumes expanded 15% and average selling prices rose 10%, yielding a more than 26% increase in platform revenue. DCG adjacency revenue was up only 14.4%, but it's a small enough part of the total -- just under 8.2% of total DCG sales in the quarter -- that it didn't really detract from the great growth in the company's DCG platform sales.
DCG also turned in operating income of $3.08 billion for the quarter, rising almost 36.7% year over year.
Intel's collection of other, smaller businesses exhibited strength as well, with the company's Internet of Things Group sales advancing 8% to $919 million, its memory business rising 21% to $1.08 billion, and its programmable solutions group expanding by 6% to $496 million. The first two businesses saw operating profit improve to $321 million and $160 million, from $146 million and a loss of $52 million in the year prior, respectively. In the third segment, operating profit contracted slightly to $106 million from $113 million in the same period last year.
The takeaway for investors
Ultimately, Intel delivered an incredible quarter with significant sales and profit growth, and its full-year outlook was raised for the third time in three quarters. Both Intel and its shareholders have cause to celebrate following the release of these earnings results.