In January, Intel had forecast revenue and margins for the first quarter above Wall Street expectations, as demand for personal computers from consumers and corporations bounced back after years in the doldrums.
Analysts said there was talk in market that the company could pre-announce strong results soon.
There's speculation that Intel will have a positive pre-(announcement), Auriga analyst Daniel Berenbaum said.
William Lefkowitz, options strategist at brokerage firm vFinance Investments in New York, agreed, saying the unconfirmed rumors were pushing activity both on the exchange and the options market.
Although overall option volume in Intel is more active than usual, this could be attributed to the expiration of March options, which expire on Friday after the close, he said. Some traders might be rolling over their positions from March into the April contract.
Broadpoint AmTech analyst Doug Freedman said his understanding was that Intel only considers pre-announcing earnings if senior management receives an update that is enough outside the company's range.
Additionally, Freedman said, if the company's revenues and margins are better than expected, those two factors could push the bottom line of estimates up by as much as 10 percent.
I won't be surprised by a positive pre-announcement, but I don't know what guideline they would use to do that, he said.
Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy declined to comment and said the company was now in a quiet period ahead of its first-quarter earnings announcement on April 13.
Intel also launched its newest server chips on Tuesday, promising better performance and power management over previous products.
Its shares were up 4 percent at $22.02 on Nasdaq.
(Additional reporting by Doris Frankel in Chicago; Editing by Richard Chang)