Intel, the world's largest computer chip maker, reported strong demand for its products on Tuesday, a day after a main Silicon Valley rival, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), warned that it expected to report lower profits because of a price war with Intel in the flash memory market. \nIntel said that its revenue was up nearly 10 percent in the fourth quarter, to US$9.6 billion, while its profit dipped slightly, to US$2.1 billion, or US$0.33 a share, compared with US$2.2 billion, also US$0.33, in the quarter a year earlier. \nAt the same time, it gave an upbeat forecast for the coming year, suggesting that the company was making progress in overcoming some of its production problems and excessive inventories arising from troubles matching supply with demand. \nThe chief financial officer, Andy Bryant, said that "2004 was a year of growth for Intel," attributing the strength of its product line to a successful holiday selling season for computers and digital devices as well as a continued expansion of spending by corporations. \nIntel's earnings report is considered a leading indicator of the health of the technology sector but it also appeared to reflect a comeback of sorts in the company's battle with AMD, which has made substantial inroads into Intel's dominant position as the leading microprocessor maker. \nIntel has fought back in part by challenging AMD in its own critical stronghold -- producing a variety of chips known as flash memory that are used in cellphones and other portable digital devices. \nPaul Otellini, Intel's president, said the company was particularly benefiting from robust spending on all types of digital products as innovation in the technology business is increasingly being energized as much by consumer demand as by corporate spending. \n"What gave Q4 a nice boost was the retail business," he said. \nIntel executives said the company expected to increase capital spending by at least US$1 billion this year, as it moves toward so-called dual core processors that are intended to offer better performance than today's chips. \nSpending on research and development will increase to US$5.2 billion from US$4.8 billion, Bryant said, the highest level in Intel's history. Intel executives said gross profit margins were 56 percent in the fourth quarter, a sharp decline from 63.6 percent a year earlier. Intel attributed the decline to increased competition from AMD, leading it to reduce prices. \nAMD said on Monday that its operating income for the fourth quarter would be lower than it said last month. While it projected that sales would be up "slightly," ana-lysts had expected them to rise as much as 9 percent from the third quarter. \nAdvanced Micro attributed its problems to competitive conditions in the market for flash memory chips. Analysts said that its loss in the fourth quarter was Intel's gain. \nFor all of last year, Intel's revenue was US$34.2 billion, surpassing its record of US$33.7 billion in 2000. Net income for the year was US$7.5 billion, up 33 percent from 2003. Earnings were US$1.16 a share, a 36 percent improvement over last year. \nLooking ahead, Intel projected revenue at US$8.8 billion to US$9.4 billion this quarter.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
‘SIGNAL TO ALLIES’: The US Navy’s exercises are not in response to those carried out by China, the commander of the strike group led by the USS ‘Ronald Reagan’ said Two US aircraft carriers were yesterday conducting exercises in the disputed South China Sea, the US Navy said as China also carried out military drills that have been criticized by the US Department of Defense and neighboring states. China and the US have accused each other of stoking tension in the waterway at a time of strained relations over everything from COVID-19 to trade to Hong Kong. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan were carrying out operations and exercises in the South China Sea “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the navy said in a statement. It did not say exactly