Q4 exceeds estimates...In line with an upbeat forecast at the start of the week (http://www.silicon.com/a50375), Intel has posted decent fourth quarter results. It recorded Q4 revenues of $6.98bn, above its previous expected range of $6.2bn to $6.8bn. However, the news was tempered by falling net profit levels - down 77 per cent year-on-year to $504m - and revenue compared to the same period last year, which reached $8.7bn. Intel CFO Andy Bryant spoke on a conference call about 2001 seeing, "the worst downturn ever for the semiconductor industry", although the last three months of the year could have been worse. Shipments of the giant's flagship Pentium 4 processor exceeded expectations, for example, leading to shortages in the run up to Christmas. Regionally, for the first time Asia-Pacific accounted for more sales than North America, Intel stated.