Intel CFO and interim CEO Bob Swan kicked off the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 earnings call by answering the question on everyone’s mind. No, the company has not selected a new CEO.
“The board continues to evaluate candidates for what I believe is the biggest and best open job on the planet,” Swan said. “They are proceeding with a sense of urgency while also ensuring they make the right choice for this company.”
Intel has been on the hunt for a new CEO for more than seven months. In June CEO Brian Krzanich was ousted from his position for violating the company’s non-fraternization policy by having a past consensual relationship with an employee. Pundits expected the chipmaker to announce Krzanich’s replacement before or on its earnings call today.
And after the “best quarter” in its 50-year history, which is how Swan described the company’s Q3 earnings, Intel reported lower-than expected revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter and disappointing guidance for Q1.
Fourth-quarter revenue was $18.7 billion, up 9 percent year over year. Analysts expected $19 billion.
Swan chalked this up to weaker modem demand, slower growth in China, and cloud providers “absorbing capacity.”
Intel’s data-centric businesses grew 9 percent year over year in the quarter and 20 percent year over year in 2018. This includes its data center group, which posted $6.1 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 9 percent year over year. The data center group also saw 24 percent cloud segment growth (compared to 50 percent in Q3) and 12 percent communications service provider segment growth (compared to 30 percent in Q3). Enterprise revenue dropped 5 percent in the fourth quarter.
Intel’s full-year 2018 revenue, however, still set an all-time record of $70.8 billion, up 13 percent year over year.
The company also forecast lower-than-expected first quarter 2019 guidance, projecting $16 billion in revenue compared with Wall Street’s expectations of $17.4 billion.
“I am convinced the board will close on a new CEO in the near future,” Swan said at the end of his prepared remarks. “In the meantime, we will not be distracted by the void.”
Investors might be, though.
Shares of Intel stock fell as much as 8 percent on Thursday after Intel announced its financial results.