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News : Innovation Last Updated: Jan 20, 2012 - 7:48 AM


Three of the biggest names in US tech sector - - Intel, Microsoft an IBM - - grew more slowly in the latest quarter
By Finfacts Team
Jan 20, 2012 - 2:10 AM

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Intel Ireland is Ireland's largest industrial employer and biggest foreign direct investor - -Since 1989, Intel has invested over $7bn transforming the 360 acre former stud farm campus in Leixlip, Co. Kildare into a state of the art manufacturing centre of excellence. It employs more than 4,000 people at Leixlip.

Three of the biggest names in the US tech sector - - Intel, Microsoft an IBM - - grew more slowly in the latest quarter. Nevertheless, there was little sign of a broad spending slump despite concerns that flooding in Thailand and economic uncertainty could hit demand.

The tech giants al reported slower revenue growth in the period ended in December - -  usually the industry's strongest - - than the prior quarter.

Shares of all three companies rose in after-hours trading.

Intel reported full-year revenue of $54bn, operating income of $17.5bn, net income of $12.9bn and EPS (earnings per share) of $2.39 -- all records. The company generated approximately $21bn in cash from operations, paid dividends of $4.1bn and used $14.1bn to repurchase 642m  shares of stock.

For the fourth quarter, Intel posted revenue of $13.9bn, operating income of $4.6bn, net income of $3.4bn and EPS of 64 cents. The company generated approximately $6.6bn in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.1bn and used $4.1bn to repurchase 174m  shares of stock.

“2011 was an exceptional year for Intel,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO“With outstanding execution the company performed superbly, growing revenue by more than $10bn and eclipsing all annual revenue and earnings records. With a tremendous product and technology pipeline for 2012, we’re excited about the global growth opportunities presented by Ultrabook systems, the data center, security and the introduction of Intel-powered smartphones and tablets.”

Microsoft announced quarterly revenue of $20.89bn for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, a 5% increase from the prior year period. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $7.99bn, $6.62bn, and $0.78 per share, compared with $8.17bn, $6.63bn and $0.77 per share, respectively, in the prior year period. Prior year results include recognition of $224m  of deferred revenue related to the Office 2010 technology guarantee program.

“We delivered solid financial results, even as we prepare for a launch year that will accelerate many of our key products and services,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “Coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show, we’re seeing very positive reviews for our new phones and PCs, and a strong response to our new Metro style design that will unify consumer experiences across our phones, PCs, tablets, and television in 2012.”

The Microsoft Business Division reported $6.28bn in second quarter revenue, a 3% increase from the prior year period, and a 7% increase excluding the prior year recognition of deferred revenue for the Office 2010 technology guarantee program. Nearly 200m  licenses of Office 2010 have been sold in the 18 months since launch. Revenue from Exchange and SharePoint grew by 10% or more over the prior year period, and revenue from Lync and Dynamics CRM grew by more than 30%.

The Server & Tools business posted $4.77bn in second quarter revenue, an 11% increase from the prior year period, reflecting double-digit revenue growth in Windows Server and SQL Server premium editions and more than 20% growth in System Center revenue.

“We saw strong demand for our business products and services, despite the soft PC market and continuing economic uncertainty in key parts of the world,” said Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft. “We delivered record earnings per share by continuing to manage our costs while investing for future growth.”

IBM announced fourth-quarter 2011 diluted earnings of $4.62 per share, compared with diluted earnings of $4.18 per share in the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 11 percent. Operating (non-GAAP) diluted earnings were $4.71 per share, compared with operating diluted earnings of $4.25 per share in the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 11 percent.

Fourth-quarter net income was $5.5bn compared with $5.3bn in the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 4 percent. Operating (non-GAAP) net income was $5.6bn compared with $5.4bn in the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 5 percent.

Total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2011 of $29.5bn increased 2 percent (1 percent, adjusting for currency) from the fourth quarter of 2010. While currency provided a benefit to revenue growth of approximately 25 basis points in the quarter, currency movements since the company announced its third-quarter earnings in October impacted fourth-quarter revenue by approximately one point of growth, or $300m .

"We had a strong fourth-quarter performance, capping a year of record earnings per share, revenue, profit and free cash flow," said Ginni Rometty, IBM president and chief executive officer. "We delivered outstanding results in all four of our strategic initiatives for the quarter and the year, as we continued to realize the benefit of our long-term investments in growth markets, business analytics, Smarter Planet solutions and cloud. We are well on track toward our long-term roadmap for operating earnings per share of at least $20 in 2015.”

The Wall Street Journal says that one of the most talked-about issues for Intel and software partner Microsoft is slowing purchases of laptop PCs— huge growth engine for both companies—compared with smartphones and tablet-style computers, which consumers have been snapping up rapidly. Some companies also are beginning to embrace Apple Inc.'s iPad and other tablets for business purposes in increasing numbers.

Oliver Bussman, chief technology officer for software maker SAP AG, says it has purchases some 14,000 iPads for its employees. But he sees them as a complement rather than a replacement for laptop PCs, a point often echoed by consumers.

Check out our new subscription service, Finfacts Premium , at a low annual charge of €25 - - if you are a regular user of Finfacts, 50 euro cent a week is hardly a huge ask to support the service.

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