Intel Warns on First-Quarter Revenue

Intel Corp. (INTC) cut its first-quarter revenue forecast on Friday, citing weaker-than-expected demand and a dip in market share, sending its stock down as much as 3 percent to a 17-month low.

Stocks opened lower after the warning from the world's biggest semiconductor maker. Intel was the biggest negative influence on both the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq.

Intel shares touched a low of $19.86 just after the start of trading on the Nasdaq stock market. Shares of rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) rose as much as 3 percent.

"I think this may say more about Intel's competitive position against AMD than it does about some broad-based slowdown in the technology arena," said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management. "That's why you are seeing stocks like Google still up significantly this morning even with Intel news."

Intel forecast first-quarter revenue of $8.7 billion to $9.1 billion, down from a previous forecast of $9.1 billion to $9.7 billion.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, said it expects first-quarter gross margin to be hurt by the change in revenue. Expenses are also expected to be lower than previously forecast due to lower spending, it said.

Some analysts said it was widely known that Intel was having inventory problems and losing market share to AMD.

"It's not a surprise at all ... we are picking up end-demand softness since early January and inventory build, and I think this is consistent with that," said RBC Capital Markets analyst Apjit Walia. "They are seeing their market share go away. Intel's in troubled waters for a couple of quarters."

The Philadelphia Stock Exchange index of semiconductor stocks was down 0.69 percent to 542.96.

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