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was down 6.4% in preopen


trading. After the close Tuesday, the specialty chipmaker said it expects first-quarter revenue to be 20% lower than fourth-quarter levels due to customers' large inventories and slow growth in the industry.

Altera said sales would pick up in the second half, but they would still be down 15% for the year.

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analyst Dan Niles cut his 2001 earnings estimate for Altera to 59 cents from 89 cents. For 2002, Niles cut his forecast to 74 cents from $1.10.

Altera's rival



was down 4.5% preopen. Niles also cut estimates for Xilinx.