In announcing the largest year-over-year increase in revenue in more than a decade, with fourth quarter revenue of US$10.6 billion, up 28%, Intel Corp is to keep capital spending under tight control. Spending is being kept flat with 2009 at US$4.8 billion, plus or minus US$100 million. Taking note that this time last year, Intel had guided CapEx of US$5.2 billion but continued to whittle that down throughout the year to an actual spend of US$4.5 billion. This could indicate that as the year progresses, spending could actually decline year-over-year.
CapEx is being targeted at the continued roll-out of its 32nm products, though no accelerated plan is being envisaged.
Greater manufacturing efficiencies which helped gross margins top 61% in the fourth quarter are set to continue, with guidance of 61% margins for 2010. Noting the conservative nature of any Intel data points, there would seem to be an opportunity for these to be exceeded.
However, the improved production efficiencies could partially explain the flat CapEx for 2010.