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Intel Facing Critical Month, Says Analyst

(Updated with more analyst commentary and stock price.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Intel (INTC - Get Report) is facing a rough patch on weak demand for consumer PCs.

"If demand does not materialize in the next four to six weeks and the PC holiday builds are weak," there could be more downside for Intel, said Wedbush Securities analyst Patrick Wang. Right now, Intel "simply has no visibility to confidently guide Q4."

The chipmaker said Friday that its third-quarter revenue will be below the company's previous outlook due to weaker-than-expected demand for consumer PCs in mature markets.

As a result, analysts believe demand in the consumer PC market over the next four to six weeks will significantly impact Intel's results.

Intel said in a press release that it now expects third-quarter revenue to be $11 billion, plus or minus $200 million, compared with the previous expectation of between $11.2 billion and $12 billion.

Intel

Intel said the impact of lower volume is being partially offset by slightly higher average selling prices stemming from enterprise demand.

All other expectations for the third quarter remain unchanged. Intel said that inventories across the supply chain appear to be in-line with the company's revised expectations.

Shares of Intel briefly dipped into negative territory this morning to $18.16, down 0.1% -- before popping back up into the green at $18.41, up 1.3%.

Sterne Agee analyst Vijay Rakesh said Intel's announcement on Friday provides investors a downside baseline to think about. "They know what the downside is now. So you still see some positive reaction in the stock."

"I don't think the preannouncement is much of a surprise," Wang said."The negative PC data points have been well telegraphed over the last couple months. All the suppliers in Asia said they were expecting a softer July and back to school sales were going to be disappointing." Also, "some investors think preannouncements get bad news out of the way."

HP (HPQ - Get Report) and Dell (DELL - Get Report) had already warned of disappointing back to school sales and a delayed back-to-school season, Wang pointed out.

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