Strong outlook for Intel

Intel closes 2009 with higher-than-expected sales and expects continued profitability in 2010.

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Intel’s fourth-quarter sales were up 28%, surpassing expectations and putting the company on track for continued profitability in 2010.

Chief financial officer Stacy Smith said it was one of Intel’s most profitable quarters ever. It’s good news for a company that hit several speed bumps in 2009, the largest private sector employer in Oregon.

The company was caught off guard by the breadth of the recession and by a succession of antitrust charges from rivals and government regulators in the U.S. and around the globe. Intel’s fourth-quarter results are weighed down by $1.25 billion it paid to settle antitrust and patent infringement claims brought by rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

Surging demand for laptops and a new minicomputer called a netbook boosted demand late in the year, though.

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