Updated from 4:47 p.m. EDT
The news in tech keeps getting a little sunnier.
gave investors a shot in the arm for the second time in three weeks Thursday, saying it would hit the top end of its improved revenue guidance as a result of "strong broad-based demand" for processors sold by its Intel Architecture group, "especially in emerging markets."
The company, which last
raised third-quarter revenue guidance back on Aug. 22, pushed the low end of its top-line estimate up to $7.6 billion from the previous $7.3 billion, while maintaining the $7.8 billion upper-range estimate.
Intel's remarks come on the heels of
strong results from a smaller chipmaker,
, and a day after giant networker
excited some investors with a round of mildly positive comments about August's sales.
Also on Thursday,
Chief Executive Joseph Tucci said at an investment conference that the data storage industry is gradually recovering. He said the recovery is broadly based, but "very gradual" and not likely to result in a "V" type recovery.
"You put these threads together, and the overall outlook starts to look pretty darn good," said Lehman Brothers analyst Dan Niles.
Thursday's news from Intel wasn't without its clouds, however. The Santa Clara, Calif., chip giant noted that demand for communications semiconductors "remains soft." Intel made similar comments in August.
The stock rose 50 cents in after-hours trading, building on an 87-cent gain in regular action Thursday. Intel stock last traded at $29.10.
Back on Aug. 22, Intel boosted its third-quarter revenue outlook to a range of $7.3 billion-$7.8 billion from the previous range of $6.9 billion-$7.5 billion. Ahead of that change, analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been looking for Intel to earn 19 cents a share on revenue of $7.2 billion.
The Intel Architecture business, which includes microprocessors, chipsets and motherboards, is generally trending higher across all geographies and channels, said Chief Financial Officer Andy Bryant. Gross margins are expected to be 56%, plus or minus a couple of points, compared to previous expectation of 54%, plus or minus a couple of points.
Earlier in the day, the CFO of rival chipmaker
Advanced Micro Devices
signaled that business is getting better for his company too. "July and August were encouraging, but September is the key for us," Bob Rivet said at a Smith Barney technology conference. "We are seeing some signs of improvement." His remarks were reported by the