Intel (INTC) is scheduled to report results of its third fiscal quarter after the market close on October 25, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. What to watch for:
1. Q3 EPS CONSENSUS HIGHER: Along with its last report, Intel guided for Q3 adjusted earnings per share in the range of $1.10-$1.20 on revenue of $17.6B-$18.6B. At the time, analysts were expecting the the company to report Q3 EPS of $1.08 on revenue of $17.65B, but those figures have since jumped to $1.15 and $18.11B, respectively. Additionally, Intel raised its fiscal 2018 adjusted EPS view at the time to $4.15, plus or minus 5%, on revenue of $69.5B, plus or minus $1B. The company previously forecast FY18 EPS of $3.85 on revenue of $65.05B.
2. SECURITY VULNERABILITIES: On August 14, Intel released a white paper on three security vulnerabilities that had been reported earlier that day by the Register. "Malicious applications may be able to infer the values of data in the operating system memory, or data from other applications," Intel said in the report. It explained, "When a program attempts to access data in memory, the logical memory address is translated to a physical address by the hardware. Accessing a logical or linear address that is not mapped to a physical location on the hardware will result in a terminal fault. Once the fault is triggered, there is a gap before resolution where the processor will use speculative execution to try to load data. During this time, the processor could speculatively access the level 1 data cache, potentially allowing side-channel methods to infer information that would otherwise be protected."
3. CFO OPEN LETTER: On September 28, Intel CFO and interim CEO Bob Swan said in an open letter that, based on the "remarkable" industry growth in the first half of the year, he expects the company will meet the full-year revenue outlook it provided in July. In addition, he noted that the company was investing a record $15B in capital expenditures in 2018, up roughly $1B from the beginning of the year. Swan added that the company was making progress with 10nm, "yields are improving" and Intel still expects volume production in 2019.
4. GARTNER PC SHIPMENTS: Gartner said earlier this month that global PC shipments totaled 67.2M units in Q3 of 2018, marking a 0.1% increase from the same quarter a year ago. According to preliminary results by Gartner, the global market has shown "modest stability" for two straight quarters. The firm noted, however, that although Q3 results did not show any material impact, the Intel CPU shortage could influence the PC market moving forward with price increases and changes to the vendor landscape.