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Intel Profit Rises on Broad-Based Demand

Intel Corp. (INTC) on Tuesday posted a higher quarterly profit as the world's largest chipmaker saw strong demand across all of its microprocessor product lines.

Intel said third-quarter net income rose to $2.0 billion, or 32 cents per share, from $1.91 billion, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier. The results included an approximate 2 cent-per-share charge for a legal settlement. Revenue rose to $9.96 billion from $8.47 billion.

Analysts expected a net profit per share, on average, of 33 cents per share, on revenue of $9.92 billion, according to Reuters Estimates. In September, Intel narrowed the range of its quarterly revenue forecast but left the midpoint unchanged, saying business remained within expectations.

"In the third quarter, we achieved all-time records in company revenue and unit shipments across all of our major product lines," said Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini (search).

For the current quarter, Intel said it expects revenue in a range of $10.2 billion to $10.8 billion, the midpoint of which is $10.5 billion. Analysts currently expect Intel to have fourth-quarter revenue of $10.7 billion. Intel, as usual, did not issue a per-share earnings forecast.

TheSanta Clara (search), California-based company also said it expects fourth-quarter gross margin of 63 percent, plus or minus a couple of points, compared with 59.7 percent in the third quarter.

Based on Monday's close, shares of Intel have risen less than 1 percent so far this year, compared with a 2.6 percent increase in the Philadelphia Stock Exchange semiconductor Index, of which Intel is a component. Shares of far smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) have fallen 3 percent in the same period.

Shares of Intel slipped 1.6 percent in after-hours trade. In regular trade on Nasdaq on Tuesday, the stock rose 26 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at $23.72.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. got a jump on Intel with its Opteron processors introduced in April 2003 which power computer servers and have proved a hit with corporate customers.

Intel has more than 80 percent of the market for microprocessors, the computing engines of computers.