Outgoing Intel chief executive Bob Swan previously told PCWorld that he was worried that, when the pandemic hit, PC sales would drop off a cliff. As Intel’s fourth-quarter earnings revealed, the exact opposite occurred.
Intel reported $5.9 billion in profits and $20 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020, with profits down by 15 percent and revenue essentially flat. But those numbers far exceeded analyst expectations, and the PC was primarily the cause.
“Fourth-quarter revenue exceeded prior expectations by $2.6 billion driven by record PC-centric revenue, with PC unit volumes up 33 percent year-over-year led by record notebook sales,” Intel said in a statement in advance of a conference call with analysts on Thursday afternoon. In a related presentation for Wall Street analysts, Intel broke down the PC’s success further: While PC volumes grew by 33 percent, notebook revenue soared by 30 percent.