Intel posts strong second quarter results: Sign of a recovery?

When tough times come, semiconductor companies are among the first to see their sales fall. So when a recovery comes, and PC makers begin to ramp up production of computers, chip makers are often the first to see the signs of improvement.

So the news from Intel (INTC) today could be good news for the economy. The company, which released its second quarter results after the market closed today, beat Wall Street estimates, reporting revenue of $8 billion (beating the Street's expectation of $7.28 billion) and non-GAAP profits of $1 billion, or 18 cents per share (Wall Street had expected earnings of eight cents per share.) These numbers do not include a $1.45 billion antitrust fine from the European Union. If you take that into account, on a GAAP basis, the company actually posted a net loss of $398 million, or 7 cents per share. Gross margins were also strong, at 50.8 percent.