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Intel Corporation (INTC - Analyst Report) is not fooling around when it mentions the tough economic environment. A few moments ago, the technology giant announced third-quarter revenue of $13.5 billion, which was above the company’s lowered guidance of $13.2 billion. However, that’s a very far cry from the original outlook of $13.8 billion to $14.8 billion. It was also down more than 5% from a year ago. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was at $13.17 billion.

The company lowered its guidance in early September citing a “weaker than expected demand in a challenging macroeconomic environment.” More specifically, the personal computer industry is in a major slump. As a result, Intel moved into the third quarter report with downward earnings estimate revisions. For example, in just the last 30 days, the company has witnessed 18 downward revisions out of 41 total estimates… with none to the upside.

The company is currently a Zacks #5 Rank (Strong Sell).

Earnings per share came in at 58 cents, which was ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 50 cents. However, beating quarterly expectations has never been a problem for Intel. The company has an impressive streak of outperformance stretching back years. Instead, it’s all about the guidance.

For the fourth quarter, Intel forecasts revenue of $13.6 billion, plus or minus $500 million. Therefore, the outlook is right around the Zacks Consensus Estimate of approximately $13.6 billion.

In and of itself, Intel is still the leader in its industry. The company said it is pleased with the progress in Ultrabooks and phones. It’s also excited about the range of Intel-based tablets coming out. However, the market is just not cooperating at the moment, which was even further underscored when main competitor Advanced Micro Devices recently warned.

We’ll have to wait and see how analysts will digest the new numbers, though Intel is unlikely to see a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) or better for a while.

Stay tuned for a lot more detailed info on the quarter…

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