Even though its profits were recently sunk into the red by a one-time $1.45 billion fine from the EC, Intel has long been heralding brighter days for the PC industry as a whole. Back in April, amid general skepticism and economic uncertainty, CEO Paul Otellini declared the worst was over for the industry as inventories and demand slowly returned to normal seasonal levels. Things must still be improving, with Intel today sending out a press release saying it has raised expectations for the ongoing third quarter.

The tech bellwether said it expects demand for microprocessors and chipsets in the current quarter to be stronger than it had previously anticipated. Sales will now reportedly range from $8.8 billion to $9.2 billion, up from a previous estimate in the $8.1 billion to $8.9 billion vicinity - but still considerably down from $10.2 billion in year-ago quarter. Intel also said its gross profit margin will be in the "upper half" of its previous guidance of 51% to 55%.

A sequential bump in sales shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Technology companies generally see stronger sales in the second half of the year, as retailers gear up for the back to school season and holiday shoppers hunt for gadgets. Investors were nonetheless pleased with the news, sending Intel shares up 4% in morning trading.