If traders are moving blocks of the old chips, does that make them chips off the old blocks?

Yes, corny opening aside, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is in the news again. The semiconductor giant reported its fiscal second-quarter earnings last night, and the results showed heady improvement. Earnings nearly doubled for a $0.27-a-share showing, while revenues climbed 18% higher to hit $8.05 billion. That was in line with analyst targets.

Just last month, during the company's mid-quarter report, Intel had projected revenues to clock in between $8.0 billion and $8.2 billion. So, on that front, it was disappointing to see the top line come in on the low end of that range. Back in March, its mid-quarter report also narrowed the year's opening quarter to that same revenue range. The company eventually tallied up the period at $8.1 billion.

$8.1 billion? $8.05 billion? What's a cool $50 million between friends? Plenty. When a company sets the bar, it often gives itself plenty of wiggle room on the downside. I remember a time when Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Intel would tease the market with guidance only to blow those marks away.

Clearing its own hurdles should be a breeze. It's like dictating poker rules after you've seen your hand. It's like Barry Bonds pointing to the fence when he's at the plate -- in Little League. The fact that Intel came in at the low end seems to indicate that business softened in the latter part of June.

With many analysts expecting chip sales growth to slow next year, this should be the time when such companies as Intel and AMD (NYSE:AMD) revert to their old habits of underselling their fiscal potential.

Intel expects sequential improvement, but that has typically been the seasonal case. Come on, Intel. Forget about the promises you keep. How about the promises you beat?

Were you cool with Intel's report? Do you like it when companies set the bar low on purpose, or is that a deceptive practice? How will the third quarter play out for Intel and its peers? All this and more -- in the Intel discussion board. Only on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks that Intel inside could probably use a batch of fresh air from the outside. He does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this story.