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Intel and AMD up Q4 forecasts

Chip manufacturer Intel has raised its revenue estimates for the fourth quarter to between US$6.7bn (£4.7bn) and $6.9bn (£4.8bn). The company's previous estimates had been between $6.2 billion and $6.8 billion. Last year's fourth-quarter revenue was $8.7 billion.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) also issued a financial statement predicting revenue growth of 10% or better in its fourth quarter, ending December 30, as a result of stronger than expected sales of its Athlon XP processors.

Intel's statement said demand for microprocessors has been better than expected. In addition, the company said gross profit margins should be "within previous expectations and above the midpoint of the range."

Compared to Intel's third quarter, the fourth quarter is almost "perfectly seasonal," according to Andy Bryant, Intel's chief financial officer. Sales in Europe and Asia-Pacific increased slightly from the third quarter, with the Americas and Japan remaining essentially flat during the quarter, he said.

Business has increased for both the business and consumer markets, Bryant said.

The quarter has also seen growing demand from both large OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and smaller "white box" vendors, Bryant said. "It's absolutely across both sets of customers."

Microsoft's release of its Windows XP operating system probably played a role in fourth-quarter PC sales, Bryant said. "It's having some positive contribution, but it's really hard to be able to tell how much."

AMD was also positive. It had reported third-quarter revenue of US$766m (£537m) and predicted revenue to be between flat and up 10% for the fourth quarter.

Although the company expects revenue from flash memory to remain flat at best, stronger than expected sales of PC processors are expected to lead to higher overall revenue than previously expected, the company said.

AMD expects the combination of its cost containment, staff reduction programmes and revenue growth to reduce its operating loss from the third-quarter level and predicts a return to profitability in the second quarter of 2002.

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