Intel issues another revenue warning

The chip maker revised its fourth quarter sales forecast downward for the second time.

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By Aaron Smith,

NEW YORK ( -- Intel issued another revenue warning Wednesday, blaming the weak demand for its technology products, and said that it expects to lose more than $1 billion on stock investments.

The chipmaker is now forecasting fourth-quarter sales of $8.2 billion, down 23% year-over-year, and 20% from the third quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected Intel to post $8.74 billion in revenue for the period.

This is the second time that Intel has lowered its fourth quarter sales forecast in the last couple of months. On Nov. 12, 2008, the company said it expected revenue of $9 billion, "plus or minus $300 million." That was a downward revision from its original forecast of between $10.1 billion and $10.9 billion.

"I don't think [the revenue downgrade] is completely unexpected," said James Ragan, an analyst for Crowell, Weedon & Co. who owns Intel shares and rates the company a "buy." "End demand is weak out there."

Ragan said the sales were hurt by a slow holiday shopping season, stemming from the recession. He added that Intel's revenue slump would likely continue through the first and second quarters of 2009, given the continued weakness in the economy.

Intel (INTC, Fortune 500) also said it now expects to post a net loss of $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion from its stock investments in the fourth quarter 2008, compared to the previously expected loss of $50 million.

The company, based in Santa Clara, Calif., blamed its investment in Clearwire Corp. (CLWR) shares, which have plunged more than 50% this year, resulting in a non-cash charge for Intel of $950 million.

Intel shares dropped more than 4% on the news

Intel is scheduled to release fourth-quarter earnings results on Jan. 15. To top of page

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