Intel Takes A Big Charge

Intel raised guidance after the close Thursday, but a large write-off caught investors by surprise.

Intel raised revenue guidance to $8.5-8.7 billion, the top of the previous $8.1-8.7 billion range, and gross margin guidance of 62% was also strong. Expenses were higher than expected, however.

Investors were taken aback by a $600 million goodwill impairment charge that will shave 6 cents a share off fourth-quarter earnings. Intel said it misjudged the long-term growth of its Wireless Communications and Computing Group, leading to the sizeable charge. However, the company said its core microprocessor business remains strong.

Intel’s stock fell more than 3% after hours.

Stocks finished the day in the green in another volatile trading session. Jobless claims were higher than expected, leading to nervousness ahead of Friday’s November jobs report.

The Nasdaq rose 8 to 1968, the S&P 500 added 4 to 1069, and the Dow climbed 57 to 9930. Volume rose to 1.47 billion shares on the NYSE, but declined to 2.1 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a few issues on the NYSE, and by 16-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 51% on the NYSE, and 52% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 235-5 on the NYSE, and 152-7 on the Nasdaq.

Qualcomm soared 10% after raising guidance.

Cisco jumped 3% on a Merrill Lynch upgrade.

Microsoft rose 2% on rumors of a stock buyback.

Nortel fell 4% on cautious guidance.

National Semi lost 4% despite better than expected results.

SanDisk fell 5% on pricing concerns.

United Online slipped on pricing pressure from AOL .

AT&T edged higher on a shakeup.

Pegasus and Ulticom plunged on disappointing results.

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