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Altera Corporation (ALTR) upgraded its guidance for the fourth quarter of 2009. The company now expects sales to increase by 15% - 18% from the third quarter level of $287 million, up from the previous guidance of sales growth around 6% - 10%.

Management expects revenues from all four of its vertical markets to be up sequentially in the fourth quarter, reflecting a strong new product cycle as well as improving end-market trends and customer desire for appropriate inventory to support sales levels.

The company stated that sales to wireline and wireless telecommunications equipment manufacturers will likely be the largest contributor to fourth quarter growth, as demand for Chinese and Indian deployments has continued to improve.

The company is expected to report fourth quarter results on January 26, 2010.

The company earlier reported results for third quarter in line with expectations, driven by broad-based improvement across all market segments except telecom and wireless. Management stated that business conditions improved steadily during the quarter and most markets performed better than expected due to a combination of new program ramps, improved end-market demand and an increase in customer orders due to inventory depletion.

Management had then guided gross margin to come around 67% - 68% in the fourth quarter, slightly up from the third quarter as the company realizes a full-quarter margin benefit from the recently undertaken cost-cutting activities (primarily workforce reduction).

Demand from telecom and wireless markets is expected to increase, driven by broad geographic deployments which include China, Japan and North America. Management expects networking, computer and storage to be slightly down due to program timing. Strong growth is expected from automotive, industrial and military markets as well.

Based in San Jose, California, Altera Corporation is a leading supplier of programmable semiconductors and related products that enable electronic systems companies to innovate and differentiate their markets in a rapidly and cost effective manner.

Source: Altera Ups Guidance