Intel forecasts better times ahead

Santa Clara, CA – On the back of better-than-expected demand, Intel says it now expects third quarter revenue to hit $9 billion, half a billion more than expected.

The gross margin percentage is expected to be between 53 and 55 percent, a touch higher than anticipated. For the rest, the company is sticking with its previous forecasts.

The news underlines  other indications of recovery in the semiconductor sector. Yesterday, Dell said that it expected some seasonal recovery in the third quarter, but forecast that 2010 would see things return to a level of normality in the commercial sector.

The third quarter is traditionally a buoyant period for the PC industry, so this underlines seasonality returning to the market.

Intel is a bellwether for the rest of the industry and if sales of microprocessors and chipsets are showing signs of growth, as it said in its statement, that’s an indication that the PC industry is, somewhat on the mend.

However, analysts like Malcolm Penn at Future Horizons are forecasting that we won’t see a real upswing in the semiconductor sector until this time next year.

Intel’s share price (tick:INTC)  rose to $20.40 on NASDAQ on the news.