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Intel Lowers Revenue Forecast (Update 1)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Intel (INTC - Get Report) has lowered its fourth-quarter revenue forecast, citing hard disk drive shortages.

The chipmaker now expects fourth-quarter revenue between $13.4 billion and $14 billion, compared to its prior forecast of $14.2 million to $15.2 million. Intel's forecast pushed the company's stock down 97 cents, or 3.87%, to $24.04 shortly after market open.

The global PC supply chain is reducing inventories and microprocessor purchases as a result of disk drive supply shortages, according to Intel. Shortages, which followed the recent floods in Thailand, are expected to continue into the first quarter, it added.

The tech bellwether, however, said that PC sales are expected to be up sequentially in the fourth quarter.

Intel now expects a fourth-quarter gross margin of 64.5%, plus or minus a couple of percentage points, lower than the previous expectation of 65%, plus or minus a couple of percentage points. Excluding items, Intel expects a gross margin is 65.5%, plus or minus a couple of percentage points, below the previous expectation of 66%, plus or minus a couple of percentage points.

The lowered revenue forecast will focus investor attention on other semiconductor stocks, as well as PC giants such as HP (HPQ) and Dell (DELL). HP, for example, recently gave itself a modest target for fiscal 2012 amid an uncertain economy and the impact of Thailand's floods on the hard disk drive market.

HP shares were down 1.58% shortly after market open while Dell's stock dipped 2.28%. Semiconductor specialist Seagate (STX) was down 1.36%.

Monday also marks what would have been the 84th birthday of Intel founder and microchip pioneer Robert Noyce. Search giant Google (GOOG) celebrated the event by turning the logo on its home page into a microchip.

Noyce founded the first successful silicon company, Fairchild Semiconductor, in 1957, before going on to create Intel in 1968. Noyce died in 1990 at the age of 62.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York

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