Intel shares down: chipmaker narrows fourth-quarter forecast

Intel Corp. narrowed its fourth-quarter sales forecast but left the midpoint unchanged as it works through meeting demand for some chips and the lingering effects of an inventory buildup. The Santa Clara, California-based company said Thursday it expects revenue of $10.4 billion (Ђ8.8 billion) to $10.6 billion (Ђ9 billion) in the three months ending in December, compared with the previous range of $10.2 billion to $10.8 billion. The company does not release earnings forecasts.

Intel shares fell 6 cents to $25.64 in early trading Friday. On Thursday, they lost 45 cents to close at $25.70 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The new range was slightly lower than what Wall Street had been anticipating. In a survey by Thomson Financial, analysts on average expected Intel to earn 43 cents per share on sales of $10.61 billion (Ђ9 billion) for the period.

In October, Intel said sales could be affected by a buildup in client inventory and difficulty in meeting demand for chipsets that serve as the computers' central nervous system. Andy Bryant, Intel's chief financial officer, said the inventory has been working itself down. Intel also has begun integrating chipsets built by third-party vendors in its motherboards for lower-end PCs.

"We think that will continue to improve through the first part of the year," Bryant said. Intel continues to face stiff competition from smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc., which has been selling server and PC chips that have beat Intel's offerings in some tests. AMD also could see its share of the market rise due to Intel's tight supplies, reports the AP. N.U.

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