A big miss for Intel earnings

(MoneyWatch) Intel (INTC) narrowly missed analyst expectations with its announcement of $12.8 billion in revenue and net income of $2 billion, or 39 cents earnings per share, for the second quarter in 2013. Analysts expected $12.9 billion in revenue and 40 cents EPS.

Shares are down nearly 2.5 percent in after-hours trading. Intel is considered a bellwether of the computer industry, given that its chips are in so many products. Lowered guidance for the rest of the year does not bode well for the company's business, not that of many tech manufacturers.

Intel said that it expects full-year revenue to be "approximately flat year-on-year," comparing expectations for 2013 with 2012. That is down from "prior expectations of low single digit percentage increase." Gross margin percentage for the year will likely be 59 percent rather than the previously forecast 60 percent.

That is bad news for the entire PC industry. Intel gained its prominence by taking the lion's share of processor sales for desktops and laptops. As people have moved to embrace mobile, with smartphones and tablets often becoming the device of choice for common tasks, the PC market has taken an enormous hit and, with it, chip sales. Intel's earnings and its guidance for the year suggest that things will continue to get worse.

That means many other companies that build hardware or write software for the PC market are also likely to see their sales take a hit. Meanwhile, Intel's expectation that its capital spending will be down by $1 billion from prior expectations is bad news for semiconductor equipment manufacturers.

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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.