Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) Reports Q3 Sales In Line But Guidance Misses Expectations

Adam Hejl /
2022/10/27 4:14 pm EDT

Computer processor maker Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) reported results in line with analyst expectations in Q3 FY2022 quarter, with revenue down 20% year on year to $15.3 billion. However, guidance for the next quarter was less impressive, coming in at $14.5 billion at the midpoint, being 11.7% below analyst estimates. Intel made a GAAP profit of $1.01 billion, down on its profit of $6.82 billion, in the same quarter last year.

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Intel (INTC) Q3 FY2022 Highlights:

  • Revenue: $15.3 billion vs analyst estimates of $15.3 billion (small beat)
  • EPS (non-GAAP): $0.59 vs analyst estimates of $0.33 (79.2% beat)
  • Revenue guidance for Q4 2022 is $14.5 billion at the midpoint, below analyst estimates of $16.4 billion
  • Free cash flow was negative $6.3 billion, compared to negative free cash flow of $6.38 billion in previous quarter
  • Inventory Days Outstanding: 133, up from 114 previous quarter
  • Gross Margin (GAAP): 42.6%, down from 55.9% same quarter last year

Inventor of the x86 processor that powered decades of technological innovation in PCs, data centers, and numerous other markets, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is the leading manufacturer of computer processors and graphics chips.

The biggest demand drivers for processors (CPUs) and graphics chips at the moment are secular trends related to 5G and Internet of Things, autonomous driving, and high performance computing in the data center space, specifically around AI and machine learning. Like all semiconductor companies, digital chip makers exhibit a degree of cyclicality, driven by supply and demand imbalances and exposure to PC and Smartphone product cycles.

Sales Growth

Intel's revenue growth over the last three years has been unimpressive, averaging 0.25% annually. Last year the quarterly revenue declined from $19.1 billion to $15.3 billion. Semiconductors are a cyclical industry and long-term investors should be prepared for periods of high growth, followed by periods of revenue contractions (which can sometimes offer opportune times to buy).

Intel Total Revenue

Despite Intel revenues beating analyst estimates, this was a slow quarter with 20.1% YoY revenue decline.

Intel's looks headed into the trough of the semi cycle, as it is guiding to revenue declines of 29.3% YoY next quarter, and analysts are estimating 4.23% declines over the next twelve months.

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Product Demand & Outstanding Inventory

Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO) are an important metric for chipmakers, as it reflects the capital intensity of the business and the cyclical nature of semiconductor supply and demand. In a tight supply environment, inventories tend to be stable, allowing chipmakers to exert pricing power. Steadily increasing DIO can be a warning sign that demand is weak, and if inventories continue to rise the company may have to downsize production.

Intel Inventory Days Outstanding

This quarter, Intel’s inventory days came in at 133, 30 days above the five year average, suggesting that that inventory has grown to higher levels than what we used to see in the past.

Key Takeaways from Intel's Q3 Results

Since it has still been burning cash over the last twelve months it is worth keeping an eye on Intel’s balance sheet, but we note that with a market capitalization of $111 billion and more than $22.5 billion in cash, the company has the capacity to continue to prioritise growth over profitability.

We were impressed by how strongly Intel outperformed analysts’ EPS expectations this quarter. That feature of these results really stood out as a positive. On the other hand, it was unfortunate to see that Intel's revenue guidance for the full year missed analysts' expectations and that inventory levels increased. Overall, it seems to us that this was a complicated quarter for Intel. The company is up 1.41% on the results and currently trades at $26.59 per share.

Intel may have had a tough quarter, but does that actually create an opportunity to invest right now? It is important that you take into account its valuation and business qualities, as well as what happened in the latest quarter. We look at that in our actionable report which you can read here, it's free.

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The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.