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Intel: It Ain't That Bad

Semiconductor bellwether Intel Thursday warned analysts and investors that its third quarter revenue would likely come in on the lower end of the range it forecast in July, though it pointedly noted that the figures still line up with expectations.

The semiconductor giant said revenue would be within a range of $6.3 billion to $6.7 billion, off previous guidance which forecast between $6.3 billion and $6.9 billion.

The company cited microprocessor unit sales trending toward the lower end of the normal seasonal pattern as a major factor. It noted that its flash business remains within expectations, though demand for other communications products remain soft.

Analysts have been pounding Intel since Tuesday, with CSFB, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch all cutting earnings per share estimates on the firm through next year. Analysts' doubts, fired by a weak back-to-school shopping season and 2002's shaky recovery from the industry's slump in 2001 (when PC sales dropped for the first time in 15 years), drove down Intel's share price by 6.6 percent Thursday ahead of Intel's planned business update.