SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Intel Corp.'s first-quarter profits soared 37 percent to beat Wall Street forecasts, driven by even stronger demand for it market-dominating Pentium and Celeron computer chips.

For the first three months of the year, Intel earned a net profit of $2.73 billion or 78 cents per share, easily topping forecasts of about 69 cents among industry analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial. In the same period last year, Intel earned 2.0 billion, or 57 cents a share.The latest results included one-time costs related to acquisitions and a $600 million tax reduction resulting from a federal audit of the company's results through 1998. Excluding acquisition costs, Intel earned $3.07 billion or 88 cents per share, a 52 percent increase from the comparable 1999 period.