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Intel Boosts 4th-Quarter Sales Forecast

Times Staff Writer

Intel Corp. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter revenue would be $8.5 billion to $8.7 billion -- the high end of its previous forecast of $8.1 billion to $8.7 billion -- thanks to strong holiday sales of laptop computers and other electronic items.

Some analysts had hoped for a higher estimate from the world’s largest computer chip maker, but “Intel is traditionally very conservative and tends to keep people’s expectations down,” said Graham Tanaka of Tanaka Capital Investments in New York. “They gave themselves room to beat the high end if they have a good December.” Tanaka’s firm owns about 100,000 Intel shares.

In a conference call with analysts, Intel Chief Financial Officer Andy Bryant also raised the forecast for gross margins -- or the percentage of sales left after subtracting production costs -- to 62% from 60%.

With more than 80% of the world’s chip market, Intel is followed closely by analysts as a gauge of both the technology industry and the overall economy.

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Intel shares rose 20 cents to $33.54 on Nasdaq, then fell $1.07 to $32.47 in after-hours trading.


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