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Intel today doled out a much needed dollop of good news to investors by hiking its fourth quarter revenue forecast.

Intel is now looking for fourth quarter revenue to come in between $9.3bn and $9.5bn. This is substantially higher than a previous range provided by Intel of revenue between $8.6bn and $9.2bn. Intel gave little detail as to why it raised the fourth quarter forecast other than to say it was experiencing "strong worldwide demand" for its processors. The company will hold a conference call with analysts later today and likely provide more insight at that time.

The more optimistic forecast immediately sent shares of Intel higher in the after-hours markets. At the time of this report, Intel shares were up more than 7 percent to $24.39 after closing at $22.71 during regular trading.

Intel's stock has dropped quite a bit over the past 52-weeks from a high of $34.60. The company has been battered by product delays, product cancellations and increased competition.

Intel's Thursday close of $22.71 was just ahead of AMD's close at $22.62. AMD's shares have basically doubled over the past three months. ®

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