Intel will focus less on buying back company stock – CEO

© Reuters. Pat Gelsinger speaks during a press conference in Tokyo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The managing director of the largest US chip manufacturer, Intel Corp. (NASDAQ 🙂 said the company would narrow its focus to buying back its own shares.

“We will not focus as much on buybacks in the future as we have in the past,” said Pat Gelsinger, Intel’s chief executive officer, in an interview with the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes”, which aired on Sunday evening.

Gelsinger’s comments were in response to a question comparing how much Intel spent buying its own stock versus its investment in research and development.

A global shortage of semiconductor chips, critical in automobiles, laptops, and other major consumer products, has brought Intel, the only major US chip maker, to the fore.

In the first quarter, Intel spent $ 2.3 billion on share buybacks, according to Bloomberg, which first reported on Gelsinger’s comments.

The new CEO said in March that Intel will spend up to $ 20 billion to build two new factories in Arizona, significantly expanding its advanced chip manufacturing capabilities. Most of the chips are currently made in Asia.

According to a transcript of the “60 Minutes” interview, Intel also plans to reconfigure some factories to make chips for cars, according to Gelsinger. Ford Motor (NYSE 🙂 Co, General Motors Co (NYSE 🙂 and other automakers have stopped production due to the shortage.

Intel’s board of directors supports the move to curb share buybacks, said Gelsinger.

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