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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 April, 2005, 22:17 GMT 23:17 UK
Strong sales boost Intel profits
An Intel employee shows off one of the firm's latest processors
Intel's computer chips are used in the majority of personal computers
Intel has thanked strong demand for its Centrino laptop processors for a 29% rise in quarterly profits.

The world's largest chip maker saw net income for its first quarter ending 2 April increase to $2.2bn (1.1bn), against $1.7bn a year earlier.

Sales rose to $9.4bn - the second highest in the firm's history - up from $8.1bn in the same period in 2004.

The profit figure equates to 34 cents a share, above the average Wall Street expectation of 31 cents a share.

Stable second quarter

Intel shares rose 3.6% to $23.45 in after-hours trading in New York following the release of the results.

Intel is the barometer for the tech industry
Technology analyst Ray Rund

The company said it now expected to see second quarter sales between $8.6bn and $9.2bn, in line with market expectations.

Last year, Intel enjoyed an 81.5% shares of the global market for personal computer microprocessors.

"Led by strong demand for our mobile products, Intel posted double-digit revenue and profit growth versus a year ago," said Intel chief executive Craig Barrett.

Ray Rund, managing director and head of research at Shaker Investments, said Intel's results would be widely welcomed.

"Intel is the barometer for the tech industry and if they're doing well, people are going to assume that the markets that their customers serve are doing well."

Intel's strong results are likely to give global stock markets a welcome boost on Wednesday after recent falls.

Markets had declined following surprise poor first quarter results from fellow computer giant IBM last Thursday.

Intel's impressive figures could mean that the technology sector remains strong and that IBM's figures were a one-off, as more companies prepare to release their own first quarter results.

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