Intel Creeps Past Lowered Sales Expectations Amid Slowdown in PC Spending

Paul Lilly

Intel, the world's largest semiconductor player, is susceptible to market conditions just like every other company, and right now PC sales are in a slump. Serving up chips to the PC market is Intel's bread and butter, so it strives or struggles at a similar clip, though it's all relative. What do we mean? Well, Intel said it generated $13.5 billion revenue during the third quarter, which is an obscene amount of money, and even a little better than analysts were expecting, but only after the chip maker lowered its Q3 sales forecast.

Just over a month ago, Intel lowered its Q3 sales forecast by about a billion dollars, saying sales would be anywhere from $12.9 billion to $13.5 billion rather than in the range of $13.8 billion to $14.8 billion. Posting $13.5 billion matches the chip maker's high-side estimate, but is still as much as $1.3 billion below its previous forecast.

"Our third-quarter results reflected a continuing tough economic environment," said Paul Otellini , Intel president and CEO. "The world of computing is in the midst of a period of breakthrough innovation and creativity. As we look to the fourth quarter, we're pleased with the continued progress in Ultrabooks and phones and excited about the range of Intel-based tablets coming to market."

AMD sang a similar tune when it issued its own Q3 sales warning last week, citing "weaker than expected demand across all product lines" as the reason. The Sunnyvale chip designer promptly took a beating in the stock market, as investors drove AMD's share price down to a three-year low.

Intel's PC division was flat sequentially and down 8 percent year-over-year, the company said, while its data center dollars dropped 5 percent sequentially and 6 percent compared to one year ago.

All this comes before Microsoft's Windows 8 launch and the million-and-one related PC products about to be released, including newfangled Ultrabook models that boast touchscreen displays and convertible form factors.

Follow Paul on Google+ , Twitter , and Facebook

Around the web