* Sees Q1 sales down 15-20 percent sequentially
* Previously expected 15-25 percent decline
* Cites stronger-than-expected China 3G demand
* Shares rise 2.3 percent after hours
NEW YORK, March 2 Programmable chipmaker Altera
Corp ALTR.O said on Monday first-quarter sales would decline
by a more moderate percentage than it previously expected
thanks to demand for next-generation wireless equipment in
The company, which competes with Xilinx Inc (XLNX.O) in
providing chips to telecommunications and other industries,
forecast first-quarter sales to fall 15 percent to 20 percent
from the fourth quarter, compared to its previous forecast for
a 15 percent to 25 percent decline.
The improved outlook was "largely attributable to better
than expected" demand for products for China's 3G wireless
networks, Altera said.
Altera, whose customers include Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O)
and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS), reported in January
stronger-than-expected, fourth-quarter profit.
Shares rose 2.3 percent in after-hours trade to $14.89
after closing at $14.56 in the Nasdaq.
(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)