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On Tuesday night, computer chip giant Intel (INTC -5.42%) is set to report results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2016. Management likes to keep investors in the loop on what to expect from these updates, so we're not likely to see any huge surprises.

Here's the lay of the land according to Intel's latest guidance announcements:

Data Point

Q3 2015 Result

Q3 2016 Original Guidance (Midpoint)

Q3 2016 Updated Guidance (Midpoint)


$14.5 billion

$14.9 billion

$15.6 billion

GAAP gross margin




GAAP operating expenses

$4.8 billion

$5.1 billion

$5.2 billion

GAAP earnings per share




Data source: Intel's investor relations.

Guidance updates from Intel in the middle of a quarter used to be rare, but the company has done several of them in recent years. This time, management explained that the PC supply chain is refilling depleted inventories to prepare for a potentially busy end of the year. Both consumers and enterprise computing shops seem poised for a strong holiday season and year-end budget purges, potentially putting an end to several years of declining PC systems demand.

Boosted by this rosy market view, the new guidance points to roughly 8% year-over-year sales growth and 12% higher earnings.

Other companies in the PC supply chain have reinforced Intel's positive view, with improving demand reported by hard-drive makers and memory chip specialists.

In other news, this will be Intel's first earnings report under newly appointed CFO Bob Swan. Longtime financial chief Stacy Smith has taken on a different role at the company, more involved in sales and manufacturing operations. Smith's title was shouldered by equally inveterate eBay (EBAY -1.45%) CFO Bob Swan as of Oct. 10.

Both Smith and Swan are highly experienced professionals, so the CFO transition is hardly any cause for alarm. That being said, the earnings call will take a new direction. Smith has a history of fielding lots of questions in these post-earnings phone conferences, often handling a larger query load than CEO Brian Krzanich. Swan certainly took an active part in eBay's calls, but most of the Q&A action was handled by eBay's and PayPal's CEOs.

So all things considered, we Intel investors can look forward to solid year-over-year growth along the lines of the updated guidance figures, along with an increased amount of commentary by Krzanich.