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After another

song of softness from



, a programmable chipmaker, the analyst community has stepped in and restated earnings forecasts and provided more guidance for their investing customers.

Lehman Brothers'

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Dan Niles slashed his 2001 earnings per share estimate for Altera to 59 cents from 89 cents, well below the current consensus Wall Street estimate of 94 cents a share. For 2002, Niles cut his estimate to 74 cents a share from $1.10 a share, also lower than the average analyst forecast of $1.15 a share.

This is the second time in the past week that Niles adjusted his estimates on Altera.

"We continue to believe we have not seen the bottom," Niles wrote in a note to investors before the start of trading on Wednesday. He also said that inventory of Altera parts is expected to be eight months, pointing to a glut on the supply side. That will make it harder for Altera to push things down the pipeline going forward.

Although the blood has been on the tracks for a while, with technology facing an industry-wide slowdown in spending that is rippling through many sectors, today's analyst vitriol was due to

Altera's warning on Tuesday night. The company said first-quarter revenues would drop 20% from fourth-quarter levels, coming in at $368 million, a far cry from the $412.6 million that had been expected by analysts.