W.R. Hambrecht

said Thursday it is keeping neutral ratings on both

Xilinx

(XLNX) - Get Report

and

Altera

(ALTR) - Get Report

and expects both companies to meet the firm's recently lowered estimates for the latest quarter.

Analyst Jim Liang said Xilink should meet the lowered estimates of $450 million in revenue and earnings of 31 cents for the third fiscal quarter. Twenty-three analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

are calling for the company to earn 32 cents in the period, up from 20 cents in the year-ago period.

The firm warned that "the company's March quarter guidance is likely to be soft, and it is possible that the company may guide numbers even lower than our current estimates of $460 million in revenue and 31 cents in EPS."

Altera is also likely to meet the firm's lowered estimates for the fourth quarter, according to Liang, who forecast revenue of $390 million and earnings of 26 cents a share. Twenty-one analysts polled by First Call are expecting the company to earn 26 cents a share, well above the 16 cents it earned in the year-ago period.

Earlier today, analysts lowered their earnings outlook on

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

and other

chipmakers. Liang also came out with

comments on

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

and

Broadcom

(BRCM)

this morning, indicating that both of those companies would likely beat near-term estimates before growth starts to moderate.

Shares of Altera rose $1.38, or 4.4%, to $32.75 in recent

Nasdaq

trading, while Xilinx lost 75 cents, or 1.4%, to $51.38. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

recently rose 3.6% to 673.9.