Expectations for the second quarter are relatively strong

Intel CEO Bob Swan is staying mostly upbeat on the path forward for the tech giant this year.

“So we had an outstanding first quarter. Our expectations for the second quarter are relatively strong. And our outlook for the second half is honestly, it’s a bit cloudy in light of how these global pandemic impacts on the economy is going to impact demand signals for the industry. But the first half will be very strong and we’ll learn more as we go through the second quarter for the outlook for the year,” Swan said on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.

Swan has a lot of reasons to stay optimistic on the trajectory of Intel even in the face of COVID-19, which has weighed on companies’ capital expenditure spending plans. Chief among them is a bang-up first quarter, underpinned by strength in the cloud business, PCs, and autonomous driving platform Mobileye.

First quarter sales rose 23% year-over-year to $19.8 billion. Data-centric sales surged 34%, while PC sales rose 14%. Sales at Mobileye spiked 22%. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share gained 63% from a year ago to $1.45.

FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2018, file photo a model of a car displays Intel Mobileye sensor technology at the Intel booth during CES International in Las Vegas. Intel Corp. reports financial earnings on Thursday, July 25, 2019. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

For the second quarter, Intel sees sales of $18.5 billion (up from $16.5 billion last year) and earnings of $1.10 a share (up from $1.06 a year ago).

Intel shares have gained 27% over the past year.

Swan has been operating like a CEO with considerable tailwinds at his back.

This month, Intel shelled out $900 million to purchase urban mobility platform Moovit. The traffic data platform is expected to bolster Mobileye’s capabilities. Swan has also unveiled Intel’s 2030 goals around diversity and sustainability.

Of note in the new plans is Intel’s desire to increase the number of women in technical roles to 40% and double the number of women and under-represented minorities in senior roles.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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