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Merrill Raises Intel Estimates, and Keeps 'Buy'

Merrill Lynch raised its estimates on Intel (INTC) and maintains the buy rating.

Analyst Joseph Osha says industry data and his checks suggest his previous estimates were too conservative. He expects Intel to boost its outlook at its mid-quarter update on Thursday (Dec. 4.) Osha raised the $8.4 billion fourth-quarter revenue estimate to $8.78 billion, up 12% sequentially. He also raised the 28 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share estimate to 31 cents.

Osha says these changes come entirely from higher revenue estimates for the microprocessor business -- other businesses remain unchanged in his model. He's keeping the $34.5 billion 2004 revenue and $1.20 earnings per share estimates. Osha has a $40 price target, and says the biggest risk to his buy rating is weakness in the PC market.

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