Intel figures out how to make money again

Patrick Gelsinger, chief executive officer of Intel Corp., stands behind a clean suit after a Bloomberg Studio 1.0 interview at the company's headquarters in Santa Clara, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022.
(Image credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Intel's revenue for the last three months was down 15% versus this time last year, but CEO Pat Gelsinger doesn't seem to mind. He says of the company's latest earnings represent "just great execution across every aspect of the business." A surprisingly positive sentiment for what might appear on the surface to just be more bad news.

The reason for that positivity is that Intel is back to making money after a few rocky quarters underperforming in 2022. Last quarter, Intel lost $2.8B from $12B in revenue. This quarter, Intel made $1.5B from $13B in revenue.

Intel also gained $0.13 a share in the past three months, which doesn't sound like much, however, is generally now assumed to be the beginning of a much-needed rebound. Margins were also up, which shareholders love to get into a fervour about.

"Strength in client and data center and our efforts to drive efficiencies and cost savings across the organization all contributed to the upside in the quarter and a return to profitability," said Gelsinger, who can probably sleep sounder after these results.

Intel aims to trim down $3B in spending this year. One part of those measures has been integrating its graphics group, which wasn't around for all that long, into the Client Computing Group, which takes care of its desktop and mobile CPUs. That group is actually down 12% year-on-year, and Intel's data center group is down 15%.

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The only part of Intel that is making more money than last year is Intel Foundry Services, which has been the main focus of Gelsinger's plan to rebuild the company back up. Though making a pittance by comparison to the Client Computing Group, at $232 million to $6.8 billion, it's at least a relatively positive sign considering how much Intel's spending on building fabs and expanding its manufacturing facilities.

All of which leads up to Meteor Lake's launch later this year, which likely won't be a huge one for us gamers due to its mobile focus, but followed up by Arrow Lake the year after that may have more interesting developments in store.

Is Intel back, then? Well, no, not quite yet. It's hardly enjoying Nvidia's massive rise in value due to the AI boom, but then it was always going to be a long road back to big money for Intel. This past three months appear a promising sign for Gelsinger's strategy, and likely buys him and his plans more time to get up and running. 

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.