Intel beats Q4 estimates with growth across the business

The chipmaker's IoT group posted double-digit growth in revenue for the fourth quarter, while revenue from the data center and PC units also grew year-over-year and sequentially.

Intel on Thursday reported its fourth quarter results, posting record quarterly revenue as well as record annual revenue for 2016. The revenue growth reflected strength across all of its business segments, Intel said, including its client computing (PC sales), data center and Internet of Things groups.

The company reported non-GAAP earnings of 79 cents a share for Q4, on revenue of $16.37 billion.

Wall Street was looking for earnings of 75 cents a share on revenue of $15.75 billion.

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Intel's full-year, non-GAAP 2016 revenue came to $59.5 billion, with an EPS of $2.72. The company also reported non-GAAP operating income of $16.5 billion and net income of $13.2 billion. Intel also generated a record of $21.8 billion in cash from operations.

CEO Brian Krzanich said in a statement that 2016 was a "transformative" year for Intel.

"In 2016, we took important steps to accelerate our strategy and refocus our resources while also launching exciting new products, successfully integrating Altera, and investing in growth opportunities," he said. "I'm pleased with our 2016 performance and confident in our future."

For the full year, Intel's client computing group brought in revenue of $32.9 billion, up 2 percent from 2015. While its growth was marginal, it reflected the overall market: Global shipments of PCs fell for the fifth straight year in 2016, according to Gartner estimates, though there have been signs the market is at least stabilizing.

As the market changes, Intel has made a concerted effort to focus more on its data center and IoT groups.

The data center group posted $17.2 billion in revenue for 2016, up 8 percent from 2015. Intel had initially hoped for double-digit growth in this category. Its IoT revenue came in at $2.6 billion, up 15 percent from 2015.

Revenue for the non-volatile memory solution group came in at $2.6 billion, down 1 percent from 2015, while Intel's security group posted revenue of $2.2 billion, up 9 percent. The programmable solutions group posted revenue of $1.7 billion.

For Q4 2016, the client computing group revenue came in at $9.1 billion, up 4 percent year-over-year. Sequentially, client computing revenue was up 3 percent with platform volumes down 4 percent and platform average selling prices up 6 percent, Intel noted in its CFO commentary.

Data center group revenue reached $4.7 billion for the quarter, up 8 percent year-over-year. The group grew 3 percent sequentially with platform volumes down 3 percent and platform average selling prices up 6 percent.

Internet of Things Group revenue hit $726 million for Q4, up 16 percent year-over-year and up 5 percent sequentially.

As for Q1 2017, Intel is expecting a non-GAAP EPS of 65 cents (plus or minus 5 cents) on revenue of $14.8 billion (plus or minus $500 million). Wall Street is looking for earnings of 61 cents per share on sales of $14.5 billion.

For the full fiscal year 2017, the company is expecting earnings per share of $2.80 on flat revenue.

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