Intel got kudos for navigating its way to solid results at a time of painfully slow economic recovery. "It's remarkable Intel pulled out a great results in an unremarkable quarter--you have to give them credit for that," said Fiering of Gartner.
Intel now estimates it could hit $43.6 billion in annual revenues in 2010, an all time high, said chief finance officer Stacy Smith. It reaped $3 billion in third quarter profits, in part based on tight management during a period of flat average selling prices for processors.
Intel expects to report 66 percent gross profit margins for 2010, a record for the company.
Otellini said the market is "filled with uncertainty" with 2010 not showing typical seasonal trends but exhibiting slow, steady growth, especially in business computing and embedded markets. Smith said Intel's sales of processors outside typical PC markets hit $500 million, up 50 percent from a year ago.
Overall, Otellini was upbeat about Intel's core computer markets that are projected to grow 12 to 18 percent in 2011. The industry is now shipping a million computers a day, he said.
"I cannot look at those numbers and say anything but it's a pretty healthy state of affairs," he said. "Assuming modest growth and not a double dip recession...[the computer industry] will have a pretty strong year" in 2011, he added.