Intel Delivers Like the Mailman

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There are some phenomena you can set your clocks by. Things like death, taxes, the indomitable service of your postal carrier, and Intel (NAS: INTC) doing all right regardless of market conditions.

The processor guru posted another strong fourth quarter last night. In spite of slow PC sales worldwide and dour comments from thick-as-thieves computing buddyMicrosoft (NAS: MSFT) over the last week, the chip giant pulled through with $0.61 of earnings per share on $13.9 billion in sales. That's comfortably ahead of strangely static analyst estimates, and record results all around.

Granted, the 22% year-over-year sales leap was helped by about $1 billion of contributions from recent high-profile acquisitions. Backing out sales of McAfee security products and Intel Mobile Communications (nee Infineon's wireless division), you still get a healthy 12% organic growth rate. That's not at all bad when industry analysts see PC markets shrinking by 1.4% and Microsoft had to settle for a 5% sales gain.

On a year-over-year basis, PC chips actually posted 17% growth to outpace data center products with just 8% higher revenue and the collapsing Atom architecture.

So we don't get an earnings-miss panic tonight. Intel shares climbed about 1.5% higher in after-hours trading, so there's no opportunistic buy-in window here.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night sways Intel's business. The Atom line may be failing, but other segments make up for that shortfall -- and the company plans to introduce the first Intel-powered smartphones and tablets in 2012. Don't change the channel. In fact, add Intel to your watchlist right now so you can keep a close eye on Chipzilla's mobile plans.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and creating bull call spread positions in both Microsoft and Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.

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