SAN FRANCISCO -- We'll take our good news where we can find it.

Shares of Altera ( ALTR) received a small lift in after-hours trading Monday after the logic chipmaker lopped off a portion of its worst-case scenario for the first quarter.

Altera said it now expects first-quarter sales to fall 15% to 20% sequentially from the fourth quarter; it had previously expected sales to fall 15% to 25%.

The company said its improved outlook is "largely attributable to better than expected demand from OEMs providing equipment for Chinese 3G wireless networks."

The good news largely ends there, said Altera. "Overall, the first-quarter sales outlook remains muted as a result of slowing global business conditions."

Shares of Altera, which were off 5% in the regular trading session, were up 2.7% in recent after-hours trading to $14.95. Rival Xilinx ( XLNX) rose 1.3%.

Altera's stock has taken the six-month hit that all semiconductor-related names have suffered, but its 13% drop in 2009 looks relatively muted, as tech stocks have outperformed the broader market so far this year.

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