Intel exceeded its own expectations in the fourth quarter of 2020 and achieved sales of nearly $ 78 billion for the year (+ 8%), its record, but the company has been sailing by sight since taking a stake in the financier activist Dan Loeb, who is calling for a split from the micro-processor giant.
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The group achieved $ 20 billion in revenue from October to December, or 2.6 billion more than expected, but down 1% year-on-year, according to its earnings release released Thursday.
Its net income fell 15% to nearly $ 6 billion over the period, and stood at $ 21 billion for the year.
Intel shares lost about -1.5% in electronic trading after the close of the Wall Street Stock Exchange, despite a favorable announcement for shareholders: the group's board of directors decided to increase the annual dividend by 5% at $ 1.39 per share.
But the tech chipmaker had an eventful end to the year.
US billionaire Dan Loeb, who owns a valued $ 1 billion stake in Intel, asked the group to part ways with production, in a letter dated December 29.
Bob Swan leaves
Intel announced a week ago that Bob Swan, 60, who was promoted to CEO in January 2019, would hand over the reins on February 15 to Pat Gelsinger, boss of the IT group VMware since 2012.
“After careful consideration, the board of directors concluded that now is the right time to make a leadership change and bring in Pat (Gelsinger) and his engineering expertise during this important period of Intel transformation
said Omar Ishrak, Chairman of the Board, on 13 January.
“It has been an honor to lead this great company, and I'm proud of what we've all accomplished together,”
said Bob Swan in the earnings release.
"Intel is in a strong strategic and financial position as we make this transition and take Intel to the next level
In his letter, Dan Loeb lamented that Intel, once a leader in the production of microprocessors, has lost ground to Asian competitors like Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC).
He also lambasted the fact that the group is no longer at the forefront in chips for computers and data centers, now overtaken by AMD.
Intel is also absent from artificial intelligence, a market dominated by Nvidia, still regretted Dan Loeb.
He therefore urged Intel to find a way to retain these customers as quickly as possible, which he said required the separation of chip design activities from semiconductor production operations.