Intel’s other shoe dropped. Less than a month after reporting a miserable fourth quarter, in which revenue fell 32% and the chip giant lost $661 million, Intel said Wednesday it was slashing its dividend 66%. It’s a logical move given that Intel needs to spend tens of billions on new chip investments in the next few years, yet burned through $9 billion in cash last year and faces another rough year in 2023. But you have to wonder why Intel’s board members didn’t realize earlier they’d have to take this step.

In fact, a year ago, Intel was raising its dividend, by 5%, to an annual payout of $6 billion. At that point, Intel had come off what CEO Pat Gelsinger gushed was “a transformational year where we beat expectations on both the top and bottom line.” The personal computer market, a big driver of demand for Intel chips, was booming (Gelsinger said that year showed the “PC is more essential than ever”). Famous last words. 

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