Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Monday, March 1, 2021
  • Subscribe to EnterpriseAI Weekly Updates:  Subscribe by email

Intel Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Financial Results 

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 21, 2021 -- Intel Corporation today reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results. The company also announced that its board of directors approved a cash dividend increase of five percent to $1.39 per share on an annual basis. The board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.3475 per share on the company’s common stock, which will be payable on March 1 to shareholders of record on February 7.

News Summary

  • Fourth-quarter revenue was $20.0 billion, exceeding October guidance by $2.6 billion and down 1 percent year-over-year (YoY). Full-year revenue set an all-time Intel record of $77.9 billion, up 8 percent YoY.
  • Delivered outstanding fourth-quarter earnings per share (EPS) of $1.42 ($1.52 on a non-GAAP basis, exceeding October guidance by 42 cents).
  • In 2020, Intel generated a record $35.4 billion cash from operations and $21.1 billion of free cash flow (FCF) and returned $19.8 billion to shareholders.
  • Forecasting first-quarter 2021 revenue of approximately $18.6 billion (non-GAAP revenue of $17.5 billion); expecting first-quarter EPS of $1.03 (non-GAAP EPS of $1.10).1

“We significantly exceeded our expectations for the quarter, capping off our fifth consecutive record year,” said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. “Demand for the computing performance Intel delivers remains very strong and our focus on growth opportunities is paying off. It has been an honor to lead this wonderful company, and I am proud of what we have achieved as a team. Intel is in a strong strategic and financial position as we make this leadership transition and take Intel to the next level.”

Q4 2020 Financial Highlights

Q4 2020 Q4 2019 vs. Q4 2019 Q4 2020 Q4 2019 vs. Q4 2019
Revenue ($B) $20.0 $20.2 down 1% $20.0^ $20.2^ down 1%
Gross margin 56.8% 58.8% down 2.0 ppt 58.4% 60.1% down 1.7 ppt
R&D and MG&A ($B) $5.4 $5.0 up 9% $5.4 $4.9 up 9%
Operating margin 29.5% 33.6% down 4.2 ppt 31.5% 35.7% down 4.2 ppt
Tax rate 21.8% 14.4% up 7.4 ppt 21.5% 13.6% up 7.9 ppt
Net income ($B) $5.9 $6.9 down 15% $6.2 $6.7 down 6%
Earnings per share $1.42 $1.58 down 10% $1.52 $1.52 flat

In the fourth quarter, the company generated $9.9 billion in cash from operations and paid dividends of $1.4 billion.

Full-Year 2020 Financial Highlights

2020 2019 vs. 2019 2020 2019 vs. 2019
Revenue ($B) $77.9 $72.0 up 8% $77.9^ $72.0^ up 8%
Gross margin 56.0% 58.6% down 2.5 ppt 57.6% 60.1% down 2.6 ppt
R&D and MG&A ($B) $19.7 $19.7 flat $19.5 $19.5 flat
Operating margin 30.4% 30.6% down 0.2 ppt 32.5% 33.0% down 0.5 ppt
Tax rate 16.7% 12.5% up 4.2 ppt 16.4% 12.2% up 4.2 ppt
Net income ($B) $20.9 $21.0 down 1% $22.4 $21.8 up 3%
Earnings per share $4.94 $4.71 up 5% $5.30 $4.87 up 9%
Cash from Operations $35.4 $33.1 up 7% $35.4^ $33.1^ up 7%
Free cash flow N/A N/A N/A $21.1 $16.9 up 25%

For the full year, the company generated a record $35.4 billion cash from operations, paid dividends of $5.6 billion, and used $14.2 billion to repurchase 274.6 million shares of stock.


Business Unit Summary

Key Business Unit Revenue and Trends Q4 2020 vs. Q4 2019 2020 vs. 2019
DCG $6.1 billion down 16% $26.1 billion up 11%
Internet of Things
IOTG $777 million down 16% $3.0 billion down 21%
Mobileye $333 million up 39% $967 million up 10%
NSG $1.2 billion down 1% $5.4 billion up 23%
PSG $422 million down 16% $1.9 billion down 7%
down 11%* up 9%*
CCG $10.9 billion up 9% $40.1 billion up 8%

Fourth-quarter revenue exceeded prior expectations by $2.6 billion driven by record PC-centric revenue with PC unit volumes up 33 percent YoY led by record notebook sales. The company also achieved better-than-expected data-centric results, including record Mobileye revenue.

2020 marked Intel's fifth consecutive year of record revenue. The Client Computing Group, Data Center Group, Non-volatile Memory Solutions Group, and Mobileye all achieved record full-year revenue. In 2020, the company invested $13.6 billion in research and development and $14.3 billion in capital expenditures while focusing to strengthen its core CPU business, improve execution and accelerate growth.

Q4'20 Business Highlights

  • Started production of 10nm-based 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors (“Ice Lake”), ramping in Q1.
  • Launched 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors ("Tiger Lake"); announced 11th Gen Intel® Core™ S-Series desktop processors ("Rocket Lake"), now shipping.
  • Entered discrete graphics market with Intel® Iris® Xe MAX graphics, Intel’s first Xe-based discrete GPU.
  • Announced Amazon Web Services selected Intel's Habana Gaudi AI processors for EC2 training.
  • Delivered gold release of Intel® oneAPI developer toolkit.
  • Announced expanded network infrastructure solutions portfolio.
  • Introduced new Intel® Optane™ SSD series and 3rd gen Intel Optane persistent memory “Crow Pass” for enterprise and cloud customers.

Additional information regarding Intel’s results can be found in the Q4'20 Earnings Presentation available at:


Business Outlook

Intel's guidance for the first quarter includes both GAAP and non-GAAP estimates. Our Non-GAAP measures exclude the NAND memory business, which is subject to a previously-announced pending sale. Reconciliations between GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures are included below.

Q1 2021 GAAP Non-GAAP
Approximately Approximately
Revenue $18.6 billion $17.5 billion
Operating margin 27% 30%
Tax rate 14.5% 14.5%^
Earnings per share $1.03 $1.10

Actual results may differ materially from Intel’s Business Outlook as a result of, among other things, the factors described under “Forward-Looking Statements” below.

Earnings Webcast

Intel will hold a public webcast at 2:00 p.m. PDT today to discuss the results for its fourth quarter of 2020. The live public webcast can be accessed on Intel's Investor Relations website at Intel Chairman, Omar Ishrak and incoming CEO, Pat Gelsinger will join Intel CEO, Bob Swan and Intel CFO, George Davis on today's call. The Q4'20 Earnings Presentation, webcast replay, and audio download will also be available on the site.

Intel plans to report its earnings for the first quarter of 2021 on April 22, 2021 promptly after close of market, and related materials will be available at A public webcast of Intel’s earnings conference call will follow at 2:00 p.m. PDT at

Detailed information regarding these and other factors that could affect Intel's business and results is included in Intel's SEC filings, including the company's most recent reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, particularly the "Risk Factors" sections of those reports. Copies of these filings may be obtained by visiting our Investor Relations website at or the SEC's website at

About Intel

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) is an industry leader, creating world-changing technology that enables global progress and enriches lives. Inspired by Moore’s Law, we continuously work to advance the design and manufacturing of semiconductors to help address our customers’ greatest challenges. By embedding intelligence in the cloud, network, edge and every kind of computing device, we unleash the potential of data to transform business and society for the better. To learn more about Intel’s innovations, go to and

Link to earnings release:

Source: Intel Corp.

About the author: Tiffany Trader

With over a decade’s experience covering the HPC space, Tiffany Trader is one of the preeminent voices reporting on advanced scale computing today.

Add a Comment