Intel's profit lifts Japan's Nikkei average

Intel's fourth-quarter profits have surpassed Wall Street expectations.

The figures lifted Japan's Nikkei average to 15-month high, giving hopes for a tech sector recovery in 2010.

The microchip-maker reported a profit of $2.3bn or 40 cents per share, during the final quarter of 2009.

The income was nearly 10 times higher than the $234 million, or 4 cents per share, that Intel reported for the fourth quarter of 2008.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecasted earnings of 30 cents per share.

For the current quarter, Intel expects revenue between $9.3bn and $10.1bn.