The big financials are in

Written by Wil Harris

January 19, 2006 | 10:51

Tags: #analyst #financial #market-share #profit #q4 #report

Companies: #amd #apple #intel

This week is performance-reporting week in the tech world, and three of the big firms have been telling investors and analysts just what happened to their business at the end of the last year.

Intel: Perhaps the biggest story is that Intel missed its sales goals for the fourth quarter of the year, leading to less money coming in than expected. Intel expected to see between $10.4bn and $10.6bn coming in through Q4, but it actually only got $10.2bn (Source).Not a whole lot of difference, you might think, but it actually rather indicates that Intel's business tailed off towards the end of the year. Investors in the firm have been rather savage with the company, knocking around 11% off its share price overnight (Source).

Intel claims that shortages of chipsets and a lack of demand in Q4 is the reason for the sub-par performance. However, comentators are speculating over the truth of that claim, especially given...

AMD: AMD's performance in Q4, which has been labelled as a "Competitive momentum shift" (Source). AMD has done $1.84bn of trade in Q4, which is way up from $1.26bn in 2004. It has also regained profitability, making $96m on all those billions, as opposed to losing $30m last year. These figures become even better if you exclude the poor-performing flash memory unit that AMD has recently spun off. In terms of processors, things are looking good for AMD.

AMD said that server sales and notebook sales were the major reason for success, with its Opteron and Turion brands taking sales from rival Intel products. However, with Intel comingto market with some decent products this year, analysts are wondering if AMD can keep up the pressure.

Apple: Apple's financial reporting is a little bit askew with the other guys, seeing it counts 2006 as part of 2005, oddly. But, the Cupertino chaps did well out of the iPod, and reported sales of $5.75bn, over half of which was made up of music player sales. Apple made $565m profit (Source).

However, it saw sales of actual Macintosh computers fall, with the company citing the changeover to Intel as a reason that buyers were holding off on their purchases. Despite turning in a record quarter of business, it's predictions on shareholder profits were a little optimistic, and 6% went off the company's share price after the announcement.

So... Apple and AMD are up, Intel is down. How will that work out in 2006? Apple looks set to continue its rise up with faster desktop and portable units, and surely more revisions to the iPod and the Music Store to come. Intel has a strong line up this year, with dual core processors dominating the lineup - and Conroe and Merom, it's next generation parts, looking very good indeed. But AMD has a huge headstart, with faster, cooler processors in almost every market sector. Can AMD keep up its strong sales performance and technology leadership in the face of what is sure to be a blitz of PR and sales work from Intel? Stay tuned, avid readers...

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