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Intel says near-term PC outlook unclear

Euro to blame for lacklustre European demand

Despite signs of weakness in the global PC market, Intel has not changed its guidance for the current fourth quarter, according to Intel CEO Craig Barrett.

Declining to make any predictions about the near-term future, Barrett only said he has "little idea" about how the PC market will fare in next year's first quarter.

Intel's forecast for the fourth quarter had already taken into account that PC sales would not reach the usual sales spike seen in the Christmas shopping season, Barrett conceded in a question and answer session with media representatives at Telecom Asia 2000.

Describing the state of the current PC marketplace as "relatively blasé," with weakness in Europe due mainly to weakness of the euro, he added that US sales also no longer look as "robust" as they have.

US PC vendors Gateway and Micron Electronics have recently issued profit warnings for the current quarter, citing lower-than-expected demand from consumers.

Intel will issue its usual guidance for the coming quarter when it announces its fourth-quarter results. "I have given up forecasting two quarters ahead," Barrett quipped.

Intel, as well as companies such as Cisco and Microsoft are now trading at 52-week lows, which means that a year has been "lost," even as the longer-term future looks bright, Barrett said.


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