After the close of trading today Intel Corporation (Nasdaq: INTC) announced earnings for the third quarter and beat analyst consensus estimates. Its stock is currently trading up fractionally in afterhours trading after rising 1.07% in today’s regular hours’ action.
Wall Street analyst consensus estimates were for Intel to earn 50 cents a share on $11 billion dollars of revenue. The company in fact announced 52 cents per share earnings on $11.1 billion dollars of revenue.
The CEO also released a statement noting that the company in fact set an all-time record for revenue and operating income in the second quarter.
Expenses matched analyst expectations while gross margins were at 66%, which was smack in the middle of the forecast range of 65-67%.
The company also upped its formal revenue forecast for the fourth quarter of 2010 to $11 to $11.8 billion dollars. This range matches analyst consensus expectations for $11.32 billion.
Intel typically is the first high profile company during Wall Street earnings season and bulls are encouraged by such a great headline result.
It will be interesting to see how Wall Street reacts to future earnings results this week. Historically when the stock market rallies into earnings seasons, like it has done now, it does well the first week and a half of earnings releases and then goes through a sell-off as traders book profits. With the big rally the market has had since September there is a danger this will happen again, but those that buy stock strong in corrections are often rewarded.
Those holding Intel should be happy with today's action. Those not in it and thinking of getting in should probably wait a day or two. After hours trading action is often very thin and it is best to see how the market digests the news for a few days before basing a decision on it.