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Intel drops 5%, drags Dow

Intel Corp. CEO Brian Krzanich delivers a keynote address at CES 2016 at The Venetian Las Vegas on January 5, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Shares of Intel dropped more than 5 percent on Wednesday after the chipmaker projected fourth-quarter sales that will be lower than Wall Street expected.

The drop was the biggest drag on the Dow Jones industrial average, which still moved higher Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the technology company known for its processors said it expects $15.7 billion in revenue for its fourth quarter. Analysts had forecast revenue of about $15.87 billion, according to a FactSet consensus estimate.

Executive Vice President Stacy Smith told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Tuesday that revenue guidance is lower in the fourth quarter primarily because of start-up costs for the company's next-generation manufacturing processor.

Intel is in the midst of a turning tide in business technology, as more companies opt to use the cloud to store their data and software.

While the company's revenue growth from cloud service providers grew 32 percent, its enterprise data center sales were down 3 percent from a year ago and are expected to stay sluggish, wrote Ian Ing, executive director at MKM Partners.

"We believe [Intel] could have done a better job of explaining how tactical moves will help bring about stabilization to skeptical investors, as they acknowledge that enterprise workloads are moving to the cloud," Ing wrote.

Intel has also looked toward newer technologies like the internet of things and mobile phones as the personal computer market continues to decline.

Worldwide PC shipments declined 4.5 percent in the second quarter of this year from last year, IDC research estimated in July. That was far better than the expected 7.4 percent decline, but even in the best-case scenario, PCs face significant challenges in the long run, IDC research manager Jay Chou said at that time.

In an earnings conference call with investors, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said the PC market is a "bit stronger." He said the company saw its strongest growth in business PCs, while the consumer segment is "better but not back to where we would like to see."

"Management noted that the flat [quarter-over-quarter] revenue guidance is below the average seasonal increase, which we believe is primarily due to the replenishment of the PC inventory supply chain," Stifel analyst Kevin Cassidy wrote in a note Wednesday.

Despite falling short on its outlook, Intel posted record quarterly sales in the third fiscal quarter.

The company reported adjusted third-quarter earnings of 80 cents per share on $15.78 billion in revenue. Analysts expected the chipmaker to report profits of 73 cents per share on revenues of $15.58 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

— Reporting by CNBC's Antonio José Vielma

Disclosure: Intel or was a client of Stifel or an affiliate within the past 12 months. Intel is or was provided with investment banking services by Stifel within the past 12 months. Stifel or an affiliate is a market maker or liquidity provider in the securities of Intel.