SAN FRANCISCO -- Intel ( INTC) dazzled investors with long-forgotten bounties when it delivered its third-quarter report Tuesday. The chipmaker served up hefty, double-digit sales increases, rising profit margins and reports of stable pricing -- and a forecast calling for more good times. Worldwide demand is "strong and growing," said CEO Paul Otellini. The better-than-expected earnings report was the strongest evidence yet that the old Intel is still alive, after a period of apparent lost vitality. Now Intel needs to prove that the strong results are the first glimpse of a brighter future and not simply a bounceback from bad times. Shares of Intel were recently up 3.7%, or 96 cents, at $26.44 in midday trading Wednesday. Intel bulls greeted the earnings report as a preview of further improvements. "We continue to believe Intel's superior products and manufacturing will combine to drive upside to EPS estimates and its share price," wrote Deutsche Bank analyst Ross Seymore in a note to investors. Deutsche Bank makes a market in Intel shares and has received compensation from Intel for investment and non-investment banking services in the past year. Seymore, who rates Intel a buy, boosted his revenue and profit estimates, as did numerous other analysts following Intel's earnings report.