Shares of Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD) slumped after the chipmaker warned that sales would fall 14% short for the quarter ending in June, blaming SARS for weak revenue in Asia. The latest confession raises questions about whether giant rival Intel ( INTC) will manage to emerge from the SARS fallout unscathed, following a host of warnings from other chipmakers that have blamed the epidemic.

In midafternoon trading AMD gave up 43 cents, or 6.5%, to $6.16. Amid broad tech weakness, Intel also traded down 7 cents, or 0.3%, to $20.29.

AMD said this morning that sales are likely to total $615 million, down from its earlier forecast of at least $715 million. Wall Street analysts were looking for revenue of $723 million.

"The anticipated global sales improvement in the month of June did not materialize as we had anticipated," said AMD's CFO Robert Rivet in a statement. "In particular, the decline in personal computer and handset sell-through in China and other Asian markets, largely related to the SARS epidemic, significantly affected AMD's sales in the second quarter."

AMD joins Texas Instruments ( TXN), Motorola ( MOT) and TriQuint ( TQNT), which have also cut second quarter expectations. The three all explicitly blamed SARS for their shortfalls.

In April, Microchip ( MCHP) likewise cited SARS as one reason for a shortfall in the first quarter.

Intel Immunity?

Yet in a striking exception, grandaddy chipmaker Intel so far hasn't acknowledged any SARS-related troubles itself. In its midquarter update June 6, Intel said its microprocessors sales were "trending to the high end" of normal seasonal patterns and maintained the midpoint of its revenue guidance. Intel is scheduled to deliver its financial results July 15.

Given that China is about 12% of Intel's revenue, "I think they'll see an impact," says Woody Calleri, an analyst for Midwest Research, which doesn't do investment banking. "At some point Intel also has to see some weakness from this."

That's not to say it's a certainty, he adds; there's an argument to be made that Intel can dodge the SARS pain because it has a strong customer base among big businesses.

The SARS epidemic has only hurt hardware demand on the consumer side. "Intel could avoid being hit by SARS , because the Chinese government and large corporations over in Asia are still ordering. With only retail hurt, and because of the positive mix shift and extra dollars from Centrino, Intel still could have the ability to avoid it," Calleri said.

Meanwhile, at Friedman Billings Ramsey, analyst Eric Rothdeutsch points out that AMD may have exaggerated the effect of SARS, anyway. "I think AMD probably overstated the case a little regarding SARS. The bigger issue is that their product road map is not terribly competitive and they're seeing extreme price erosion trying to compete against Intel," he says.

"Based on my contacts and channel checks, I think Intel's looking fine relative to guidance," he says, adding that he anticipates second-quarter sales for Intel of $6.8 billion, above the Street's consensus estimate of just under $6.7 billion. Friedman hasn't done banking for Intel or AMD.

"Some people are trying to run a negative call on Intel, but I think it has zero impact. This is company-specific to AMD," says Michael McConnell, a senior research analyst at Pacific Crest. The problem: AMD sells heavily into the Asian white-box (unbranded) PC market, which has been hit especially hard by SARS. On top of that AMD sells a considerable amount of its flash into Asia, where SARS has weighed on handset sales. Pacfic Crest has no banking relationship with either AMD or Intel.

"AMD is more levered to Asian white boxes and Asia in general" than Intel, says McConnell. "Intel also has Centrino, a higher-ASP chip, and its server sales have been quite robust, helping to offset this weakness with a better product mix."

As for AMD, today's update marks an unhappy reversal after the long-struggling chipmaker had managed to beat expectations on sales in the first quarter. In what qualifies as good news for AMD, it also posted a smaller loss than expected.

Still, befitting investors' skepticism about its string of losses and murky prospects , AMD has been largely left out of the run-up in chip stocks this spring. Although the benchmark Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index has raced up 26% year to date as of yesterday's close, AMD shares had eked out a mere 2% gain -- progress that stands to be wiped out by today's stock decline.

Leading up to today's update from AMD, Wall Street had been expecting an EPS loss of 28 cents a share when AMD posts second-quarter earnings results on July 16. Those estimates are likely to be revised downward, however.