Updated from 7:48 p.m. EST
A funny thing happened during tonight's extended trading session:
-- the world's largest chipmaker -- issued a revenue warning for the fourth quarter.
OK, this quarter, that doesn't seem too strange.
Here's the thing, though: Investors would expect a warning from Intel to rattle the marketplace big time. But it hasn't. In fact, Intel's stock traded up approximately 1% on both
before dropping less than a half-percentage point -- not a major loss -- on both platforms, with very heavy volume.
After the closing bell, Intel warned that revenue for the upcoming quarter would fall short of its prior expectations, primarily because of slowing PC demand. Intel now expects revenue to be flat for the quarter "plus or minus a couple of percentage points." The chipmaker had expected revenue to rise 4% to 8% from the third quarter. According to
First Call/Thomson Financial
, analysts had expected Intel to earn 42 cents a share. In the year-ago period, Intel recorded a profit of 35 cents per share.
Perhaps the chipmaker's warning was already priced into the market. Maybe,
, we've finally hit bottom. Yesterday morning,
Salomon Smith Barney
semiconductor analyst Jonathan Joseph reiterated comments from his Nov. 30 note, when he stated that the chipmaker's fourth quarter "is shaping up to be the worst in over a decade." Joseph restated his reduced earnings estimate, in which he lowered his earnings forecast to 39 cents from 42 cents a share. As a result, Intel's stock dropped 11.1% yesterday. Intel is down 57% from its all-time high.
Intel's warning is the latest in a string of high-profile preannouncements, which have included the likes of PC makers
Other tech stocks have bumped up modestly on the night watch. Shares of
each gained approximately 1% on Island.
, which dropped more than 6% on the back of a downgrade by
analyst Rick Sherlund, gained back 1.2% on Instinet and recovered 0.6% on Island.
Intel was not the only company to warn tonight. Computer manufacturer
CDW Computer Centers
warned, after the close, that it expects fourth-quarter earnings to be between 40 cents and 42 cents per share, below Wall Street's estimate of a 50 cent per-share profit. CDW Computer Centers fell 23.2% on Instinet.
Wondering what the morning will bring? Most recently, the
S&P 500 futures on
were up 7 to 1363.50, in line with
fair value and indicating a flattish open for Friday's start. The
Nasdaq 100 Securities
were ahead 55.5 to 2778, about 10 points above fair value and -- despite Intel's preannouncement -- showing some upward pressure for the Nasdaq's open tomorrow.
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explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.