Altera Falls Into Line With Weak Outlook

Today yet another semiconductor outfit confirmed anemic growth expectations for the quarter under way.

In a midquarter update today, Altera ( ALTR), which makes programmable logic devices, said that its sales are on track to meet guidance of flat to 2% sequential growth. Altera had issued that forecast in its most recent earnings release in July.

The outlook fits with dreary guidance from other semiconductor companies, which have mostly said they expect revenues to stall out or grow in the single digits. Analog Devices ( ADI) said earlier this month that sales probably wouldn't grow more than 3%, while industry leader Intel ( INTC) has issued a range of zero to just-under 10% growth.

Today Intel's CEO seemed to suggest that growth would likely occur in the lower half of that range, telling Reuters that the company hasn't "seen much improvement in the computing environment because companies are not investing." He also said it wasn't clear whether the fourth quarter would see the usual holiday-related boost in spending.

Those comments sparked selling across chipland today. On a day when the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index surrendered 5.9%, Altera gave up 8.3%, or $1.02, to close at $11.34. Intel closed down 5.2%, or 95 cents, to $17.18.

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