Intel Corp. drew positive takes from Wall Street on Wednesday after the chip maker's chief executive signaled better-than-expected demand in the current quarter.
Paul Otellini told analysts at a conference Tuesday that chip orders in the second quarter have been "a little better than we expected," but stopped short of offering specifics.
Cody Acree, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus, told investors in a note Wednesday that Otellini's comment came as "a confirmation of our prior belief that recent order rates have improved steadily," leading to an uptick in production.
Intel has been running its factories at less than full capacity to cope with a recession that has cut deeply into demand for personal computers.
Acree reiterated a "Buy" rating on shares.
Collins Stewart analyst Ashok Kumar, who also holds a "Buy" rating, said in a note, "It appears that sales have stabilized at current depressed levels."
Meanwhile, European regulators whacked the Santa Clara, California-based company Tuesday with a $1.45 billion fine for sales tactics they say were aimed at shutting out rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
Intel shares fell only slightly, however, declining 8 cents to close at $15.13, even as the broader market saw bigger losses.