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Intel Boosts Forecast On Stronger Sales

Intel on Friday raised its revenue forecast for the third quarter, the latest indication that the tech industry is climbing out of economic recession.

Because of "stronger than expected demand" for microprocessors and chipsets, Intel raised its revenue forecast for the quarter to $9 billion, plus or minus $200 million. The company in July had issued an upbeat prediction of $8.1 billion to $8.9 billion.

In addition, the chip maker upped its gross margin percentage to the upper half of the previous range of 51% to 55%. The company is scheduled to report its third quarter results Oct. 13.

The better forecast gave a boost to Intel stock, which was up more than 4% in afternoon trading on the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Intel is the latest tech bellwether to see signs of a recovery in the tech industry, which has seen sales plummet for several quarters as a result of the global economic downturn.

Dell on Thursday reported that profits and revenue were down 23% and 22%, respectively, in the fiscal quarter ended July 31, but executives said they expect sales to improve in the second half of the year.

Earlier, Hewlett-Packard reported a slide in profits and revenue during the same time frame, but executives said business was "stabilizing."

Tech companies are benefiting from a number of factors, including a government stimulus package in China that has helped boost sales in Asia, and the beginnings of an economic recovery in the U.S.

In addition, computer makers are expecting consumers and businesses to start replacing older PCs with the release of Windows 7. Microsoft's new operating system is already available for businesses; in late October, it will be released to consumers. PC sales, however, are expected to pick up more quickly in the consumer market. Businesse are expected to delay buying PCs in large numbers until 2010.

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