Intel has joined Apple and Motorola in issuing a profit warning.

Intel yesterday issued its second profit warning of 2000 – admitting its fourth quarter results will be lower than expected.

Like Apple, Motorola, Dell and Gateway, Intel blamed a slowdown in demand for personal computers caused by a slowing global economy.

"Economies worldwide appear to be slowing more quickly than we had expected," Andy Bryant, Intel's senior vice president, chief financial and enterprise services officer, said. Intel is the largest supplier of microprocessors to PC manufacturers. The company's recently-launched Pentium 4 chip has been criticized for returning disappointing test results.

Profit warnings from computer manufacturers and associated businesses have been rampant this week. Gateway, 3Com, Apple and Motorola have all made similar announcements.

Intel is expecting to release its fourth-quarter results on January 16. The company released Thursday's warning after the financial markets closed. Intel's shares ended Thursday's trading at $32.31, up 1.8 per cent on Wednesday's close.

Bryant wouldn't comment on whether Intel is likely to meet analysts' fourth-quarter earnings estimates, which call for Intel to make 42 cents per share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.