Intel Corp.'s stock dropped 3.4% in premarket trade Thursday, after the semiconductor maker warned that first-quarter sales would be below its previous outlook, given weaker-than-expected demand for business desktop PCs and lower inventory levels in the PC supply chain. The company now expects revenue of $12.8 billion, plus or minus $300 million, compared with its previous forecast of $13.7 billion, plus or minus $500 million. "The company believes the changes to demand and inventory patterns are caused by lower than expected Windows XP refresh in small and medium business and increasingly challenging macroeconomic and currency conditions, particularly in Europe," Intel said in a statement. Intel said it still expects the midpoint of the gross margin range to be 60%, plus or minus a couple percentage points. The stock, a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, has lost 11% in the past three months through Wednesday, while the Dow has gained 2.1%.
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