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Intel earnings sink as PC era fades, but market may stabilize

SAN FRANCISCO--U.S. chip giant Intel on Thursday reported that its net profit last year sank 13 percent but that the troubled personal computer market appeared to be stabilizing.

California-based Intel said that it made a net profit of US$9.6 billion on revenue of US$52.7 billion as compared with US$11 billion in net profit on US$53.3 billion in revenue in 2012.

“We had a solid fourth quarter with signs of stabilization in the PC segment and financial growth from a year ago,” said Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich.

In the final quarter of the year, Intel posted profit of US$2.6 billion on revenue of US$13.8 billion as compared with US$2.5 billion net income on US$13.5 billion in revenue during the same period in 2012.

“We've built a strong foundation for our business by bringing innovation to the market more quickly across a wide range of computing platforms,” said Krzanich.

“For example, at CES, we demonstrated multiple devices that weren't on our roadmap six months ago.”

At the Consumer Electronics Show gadget extravaganza in Las Vegas last week, Intel unveiled a major new push into wearables and connecting everyday devices as it seeks to leapfrog the competition in mobile computing.

Krzanich said at CES that Intel would produce on its own or with partners a range of products from a health monitor integrated into baby clothes to heart monitor in earbuds.

He showed the company's new “personal assistant” dubbed Jarvis, which is Intel's answer to the voice-activated Google Now and Apple's Siri.

Intel will be producing a smartwatch with “geofencing” which allows families to get alerts if children or elderly parents leave a specific geographic area.

The new devices shown to the large CES crowd will all be available this year, Krzanich said, without offering details on pricing or specific partners for the products.

The chief executive who took the reins at Intel last year said the new technology all revolves around its new chip called Edison, which is said integrates a full-fledged computer in the size of a memory card.

Intel remains the world's biggest producer of chips for personal computers but has been lagging in the surging mobile marketplace of tablets and smartphones. The new initiative could allow the California firm to get a bigger slice of the mobile market's newest iterations.

Intel forecast revenue in the current quarter of about US$12.8 billion and that it would be flat for the overall year.

Intel shares slid more than three percent to US$25.59 in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures.

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Mooly Eden, senior vice president and perceptual computing general manager from Intel, talks to the media during the Intel news conference at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 6.

(AP)

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