We were almost tempted to start pitying Intel, considering some of the news at the start of this year.
Then Intel opted to shell out $1.5 billion to NVIDIA to end litigation it started, and finally it emerged that the PC market, on which Intel is still more dependent than it would like to be, faded rapidly towards the end of last year.
Since then AMD has apparently imploded, but Intel's recently announced Q4 2010 earnings - and thus full-year results - have reminded us that, regardless of what is going on around it, Intel remains a money-making machine.
For the year Intel made $43.6 billion, which was a 24 percent increase on 2009 and a new record year. Margin was up ten percentage points to 66 percent, and net income was 11.7 billion, up a whopping 167 percent on the previous year.
Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO, saw little need for embellishment: "2010 was the best year in Intel's history. We believe that 2011 will be even better," he said. Intel reckons it will bring in $11.5 billion in this quarter and more or less maintain that impressive margin for the whole year, while logging around $9 billion of capital expenditure. It's earnings and forecast were both ahead of analyst expectations.