The company’s chief financial officer, George Davis, had earlier told The Financial Times that Intel published its earnings ahead of the stock market’s close on January 18th because they believed a hacker obtained unauthorized access to financially sensitive information from the site.
According to the first statement, the company reported its corporate site was hacked, pushing the chipmaker to release its fourth-quarter earnings before the stock market closed. George Davis, CFO, said “An infographic was hacked off of our PR newsroom site… We put (our earnings) out as soon as we were aware.” He also added that the leak was the result of an illicit action that did not involve any unintentional disclosure by the company itself.
The report contained details about a strong earnings report. But upon finding out about the “attack”, the chipmaker released its results six minutes before the market close.
The earnings revealed a strong bounce in Intel’s sales of chips for personal computers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, as more people bought laptops to work and study from home, as well as more powerful gaming PCs. The results came as Intel claimed to be back on track with its advanced manufacturing plans
Intel’s shares closed up almost 7% at $62.46 on January 18th but erased gains after the reported hacker’s access to information.
But on January 19th the company released a statement in which they blamed an internal error for a data leak that prompted it to release a quarterly earnings report early. This statement was to assure that its corporate network was not compromised.
It said “the URL of our earnings infographic was inadvertently made publicly accessible before the publication of our earnings and accessed by third parties. Once we became aware of the situation we promptly issued our earnings announcement. Intel’s network was not compromised and we have adjusted our process to prevent this in the future.”