Intel appears to be on the rebound after hitting the bottom CEO Paul Otellini declared back in April. Even though profits for the second quarter were sunk into the red by a one-time $1.45 billion fine from the European Commission, the company still managed to report healthy sales of $8 billion; down from $9.4 billion a year ago but significantly higher than analyst expectations of $7.27 billion.

Loss for the quarter was $398 million, or minus 7 cents per share, meaning that without the antitrust charge the chip maker would have reported close to one billion in profits. Inventory was down $240 million during 2Q, suggesting Intel’s customers are ordering again rather than going through existing stockpiles of chips. In a prepared statement, Otellini highlighted the company's improvement over the previous quarter and called this their strongest first to second-quarter growth since 1988.

As the world’s largest computer processor supplier, Intel’s financial results are usually seen as a bellwether for the computer industry as a whole, so its latest report is an encouraging sign during this slumping economy. Looking ahead, the company said it expects third quarter revenue of $8.10 billion to $8.90 billion.