Intel’s fourth-quarter results are expected to be below the company’s previous outlook due to hard disk drive supply shortages. The company now expects fourth-quarter revenue to be $13.7 billion, plus or minus $300 million, lower than the previous expectation of $14.7 billion, plus or minus $500 million.

Despite the shortage, Intel says, sales of personal computers are expected to be up sequentially in the fourth quarter. However, the worldwide PC supply chain is reducing inventories and microprocessor purchases as a result of hard disk drive supply shortages. The company expects hard disk drive supply shortages to continue into the first quarter, followed by a rebuilding of microprocessor inventories as supplies of hard disk drives recover during the first half of 2012.

Intel now expects the fourth-quarter gross margin to be 64.5 per cent, plus or minus a couple of percentage points, lower than the previous expectation of 65 per cent, plus or minus a couple of percentage points.