updated 12/8/2003 7:56:37 PM ET 2003-12-09T00:56:37

Buoyed by the holiday season’s strong demand for personal computers and consumer electronics, Intel Corp. narrowed its fourth-quarter revenue estimate toward the high end of its previous forecast.

The world's largest semiconductor company said Thursday it expects revenue to be between $8.5 billion and $8.7 billion. In October, the company predicted sales would be $8.1 billion to $8.7 billion. The company does not announce profit estimates.

Analysts expect the semiconductor giant to post a profit of 29 cents per share on sales of sales of $8.53 billion for the three months ending Dec. 31, according to a survey by Thomson First Call.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said its microprocessor business is “experiencing solid seasonal growth.” Meanwhile, its communications chip business is on track with expectations.

Intel also said it would take a goodwill impairment charge of about $600 million related to its Wireless Communications and Computing Group, which makes components and software for cellular-handset makers.

“The long-term growth expectations for this business are no longer projected to be as high as previously expected,” the company said.

Intel’s sales are not only benefiting from the overall strength of the computer market but also a shift in the popularity of notebooks, which carry a higher profit margin for the computer makers and component providers like Intel.

Intel has been heavily marketing its Centrino mobile technology brand, which includes a processor as well as a chipset and radio for wireless communications.

Intel’s not alone in riding this year’s

Prior to its update, shares of Intel closed at $33.54, up 20 cents, in Thursday trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. In extended-session trading, they lost $1.08, or 3 percent.

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