Intel Announces Record Yearly Results Despite Hard Drive Shortages

Intel announced its Q4 and end-of-year results with $54B in revenue and $17.5 billion in operating income, both records for the CPU giant. Q4 income was $13.9B, driven by a 17% rise in sales from the PC Client Group. Revenue growth was positive across all sectors save for Atom; sales of the diminutive processor fell 57% year on year, to $167 million. 

Growth continues to be driven primarily by the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries; sales in Indonesia and India grew 22% and 37% year-on-year, while China now accounts for 20% of Intel's worldwide demand. 2011 was an excellent year all around for Intel, and the company had quite a bit to crow about on its earnings call, including a weaker-than-expected impact from HDD shortages in Q4.

One of Intel's biggest announcements in years was the launch of Medfield, its first smartphone SoC, at CES this year. Investors were keen to question the company about the part and its plans for the handsets and tablets. According to Paul Otellini, Intel CEO, the company's plan for tablets is to "use the advanced silicon integration capability we have to be able to drive the build material cost down, integration up in tablet space, which I think is going to be a sweet spot for Intel."

Intel's new Medfield prototype

"On phones, our strategy is a little bit different," he continued. "We're coming in at the top of the smartphone market. Our value proposition initially is aimed at best performance and very competitive feature sets and very good battery life. Over -- and then let me say on the other end of the market, the Infineon acquisition has given us a very strong position in basic phones and feature phones."

Major launches in the first half of the year include Ivy Bridge and the debut of Intel's 22nm Tri-Gate transistors. AMD will announce its own quarterly results next Tuesday, with a major investor unveil coming at the company's Financial Analyst Day in February. Expectations are high for that event; CEO Rory Read is expected to unveil new information on the company's strategic plans for 2012 and beyond -- and hopefully articulate a strategy that can help the firm recover from Bulldozer's disastrous launch and the Bobcat 28nm cancellations at GlobalFoundries.