Intel said it was the victim of a hacker who stole financially sensitive information from its corporate website on Thursday, prompting the company to publish its earnings report earlier.
The US computer chip maker believes the attacker has received detailed details of a strong income statement that should be published after the stock market closes, said George Davis, chief financial officer.
It published its official announcement of the profit at the discovery of the problem, six minutes before the market closed. Shares of Intel rose more than 6% on Thursday, including almost 2% in the last 1
“The infographic was hacked from our PR news site,” Mr Davis said. “It simply came to our notice then [our earnings] as soon as we found out. “
He did not provide further details, but said the leak was the result of an illegal act that did not involve accidental disclosure by the company itself.
An Intel spokesman added: “We have been informed that our infographics are being distributed outside the company. I do not believe it has been published. We continue to investigate this issue. “
The increase in the volume of Intel PC chips sold in the last quarter
Profits revealed an unexpectedly sharp jump in sales of PC chips as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, as more people bought laptops for work and study from home, as well as more powerful computer games.
The results came when Intel said it was back on track with its improved production plans after a series of delays that put it years behind rivals TSMC and Samsung.
Speaking to Wall Street analysts, Bob Swann, who is due to step down as chief executive next month, said progress over the past six months had “increased dramatically. [Intel’s] confidence ”in the ability to produce the company’s most advanced chips in their own semiconductor manufacturing facilities, starting in 2023.
The company has “reconstructed” the steps in its new 7-nanometer manufacturing process that caused the problem, he said, while simplifying operations to make it more likely to reach the 2023 deadline.
Pat Gelsinger, who will take over as CEO, also used the call to support Intel’s decision to continue in the manufacturing business, despite a Third Point activist’s request to consider abandoning chip production and focus on design, an approach followed by most of its rivals.
Mr Gelsinger said the company would make “most of” its chips internally in 2023, although it would consider ways to outsource more of its production.
The delays mean that Intel will not release its first 7nm chips until the first half of 2023 – at a time when TSMC expects to increase production on its 3nm lines, which are a generation ahead.
In the last quarter, Intel said that the volume of computer chips sold by it jumped by 33%. The IDC technical research group had already said that the number of machines shipped worldwide increased by 26% over the period, covering the strongest year for the computer industry in a decade.
Mr Davis said the huge jump underscores the importance of Intel having its own manufacturing plants, which allows it to shift production to the areas most in demand and grab more market share.
Although Intel’s revenue fell 1 percent in the fourth quarter to $ 20 billion, that estimate is $ 2.5 billion ahead of Wall Street expectations. Revenue from computer chips increased 9% to $ 10.9 billion.
Data center chip chips fell 16 percent to $ 16.1 billion as demand fell after a period of unexpectedly strong demand from cloud services companies.
The proforma earnings per share of $ 1.52 are unchanged from the previous year and are 42 cents ahead of expectations.
Based on official accounting principles, Intel reports a 15% drop in net income to $ 5.9 billion, or $ 1.42 per share, mainly reflecting the lack of profit reported in the previous year from sales, as well as changes in the reported tax fee.
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