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Intel says sales of business PCs are strong, raises revenue estimates for 2nd quarter and 2014

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Intel on Thursday raised its revenue guidance, saying sales of computers for businesses have been stronger than expected.

The world's largest chipmaker is now forecasting revenue of $13.4 billion to $14 billion in the second quarter. The Santa Clara, California, company had expected $12.5 billion to $13.5 billion in revenue in the quarter. Intel also expects stronger profit margins.

It also said it expects revenue to grow in 2014. In January, Intel said its sales would be about the same as last year's total of $52.71 billion.

Analysts were forecasting $13.02 billion in revenue for Intel during the second quarter, according to FactSet. Their projections called for $53.07 billion in annual revenue.

Intel's shares rose $1.34, or 4.8 per cent, to $29.30 in aftermarket trading. That put the stock on pace for a possible two-year high on Friday.

Intel's processors are inside about 80 per cent of the world's PCs, and its results are often a bellwether for other chip companies. But its historically strong business of selling chips for personal computers has languished as people buy smartphones and tablets instead of PCs.

Intel said revenue from its PC business fell during the first quarter, but there were signs the slump was easing. The retirement of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP operating system may have helped those sales as PC users upgrade to newer systems.

Intel is scheduled to report its second-quarter results on July 15. Analysts expect it to report a profit of 46 cents per share.

Shares of Intel rose 3 cents to $27.96 on Thursday before the release of the sales forecast. The stock reached an annual high of $28.42 on Monday but has not traded at $29 since May 2012.

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