After another

song of softness from

Altera

(ALTR) - Get Report

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

Lehman Brothers'

analyst

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.