Santa Clara, California-based Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC – $31.71) posted a profit of $2.8 billion, equal to $0.55 a share, vs. a year-earlier profit of $2 billion or $0.39 a share and three cents ahead of analysts’ projections. Revenue increased 8% to $13.83 billion, versus last month’s estimate of $13.4 billion to $14 billion. The consensus estimate was $13.69 billion. The chipmaker posted higher earnings and revenue for its second quarter, in line with the top-line outlook it raised a month ago. Its closely watched gross margin widened to 64.5%, compared with 59.6% in the first quarter and it boosted its forecast to 64%, plus or minus a couple of points for the third quarter. The company gave an encouraging revenue forecast for the current quarter and the year, further signs of a pickup in the personal computer market. For the third quarter, Intel guided revenue of $14.4 billion, plus or minus $500 million, while analysts were looking for $14.03 billion. The chipmaker also outlined plans to add $20 billion to its stock buyback plan and said it expects to repurchase about $4 billion in shares in the current quarter. The company also forecast full-year gross margin of 66%, plus or minus a couple of points and said it expects revenue for 2014 to climb 5%, slightly higher than earlier expectations. The shares, yielding 2.9%, trader higher after-hours to a new 52-week high, but still offer solid total return potential a few years out and can be retained as a technology play in a well-diversified income portfolio.