Intel has posted improved third quarter results, but has warned it is readying itself for a potentially troubled fourth quarter as a result of the ongoing global recession.
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For the third quarter, Intel reported flat sales of $10.2bn - up 1% on the same quarter last year - and an operating profit of $3.1bn, up an impressive 44%.
However, the company said fourth quarter sales could be anything from between $10.1bn and $10.9bn, reflecting its uncertainty about the global markets.
Intel chief executive Paul Otellini admitted the range of possible sales figures was broader than anything given by Intel in the past.
And as the fourth quarter holiday season is usually the busiest time for buying PCs, Intel is obviously nervous.
Otellini said the figures covered "all possible situations within the market".
Analyst firm Gartner said earlier this week that overall global IT spending would slow next year, more than halving its previous growth forecast.
Otellini said Intel corporate sales were expected to be "soft" in the fourth quarter.