Chipmaker Intel today announced that its revenue for the third quarter of 2012 is expected to come in (quite far) below the company’s previous outlook as “a result of weaker than expected demand in a challenging macroeconomic environment”.

The company now expects third-quarter sales to be $13.2 billion, give or take $300 million, compared to the previous expectation of $13.8 billion to $14.8 billion.

The company’s expectation for gross margin in Q3 2012 is now 62 percent, lower than the previous expectation of 63 percent.

So worst-case, Intel was expecting $14.8 billion in revenue for the quarter and might come in at under $13 billion instead. Yes, that’d be a difference of nearly $2 billion.

Wonder what that will do to Intel’s stock price

For your comparison: last July, Intel reported revenue for Q2 2012 of $13.5 billion and net income of $2.8 billion.

And for what it’s worth, the company claims it is seeing “customers reducing inventory in the supply chain versus the normal growth in third-quarter inventory; softness in the enterprise PC market segment; and slowing emerging market demand”.

Intel asserts that its data center business is meeting expectations.

Here’s the full press release:

Intel Lowers Third-Quarter Revenue Outlook

SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Intel Corporation today announced that third-quarter revenue is expected to be below the company’s previous outlook as a result of weaker than expected demand in a challenging macroeconomic environment. The company now expects third-quarter revenue to be $13.2 billion, plus or minus $300 million, compared to the previous expectation of $13.8 billion to $14.8 billion.

Relative to the prior forecast, the company is seeing customers reducing inventory in the supply chain versus the normal growth in third-quarter inventory; softness in the enterprise PC market segment; and slowing emerging market demand. The data center business is meeting expectations.

The company’s expectation for third-quarter gross margin is now 62 percent, plus or minus one percentage point; lower than the previous expectation of 63 percent, plus or minus a couple of percentage points.

Expectations for R&D and MG&A spending and depreciation in the third quarter remain unchanged.

Full-year capital spending is expected to be below the low-end of the company’s previous outlook of $12.1 billion to 12.9 billion, as the company accelerates the re-use of existing equipment to the 14nm node.

The outlook for the third quarter does not include the effect of any acquisitions, divestitures or similar transactions that may be completed after Sept. 7. All other quarterly and full-year expectations have been withdrawn and will be updated with the company’s third-quarter earnings report on Oct. 16.