Intel Shares Sag on Analyst Downgrade

Intel shares slipped Friday, after a Merrill Lynch analyst downgraded the chipmaker's stock to neutral from buy.

Shares fell as much as 36 cents, or $1.42, at $24.92 in morning trade on the Nasdaq.

The analyst said Intel's shares are likely to remain static -- but added that the semiconductor firm is poised to benefit from strong demand for PCs as well as improved efficiency.

On Monday, Intel raised its third-quarter sales outlook by $200 million to $400 million. It now predicts sales of $9.4 billion to $9.8 billion for the current quarter, up from the previous forecast of $9.0 billion to $9.6 billion.

Shares of Intel are up 28 percent in the past 52 weeks, and have traded between $26.52 and $18.75 in that period.