World Business Quick Take


Thu, Dec 09, 2004 - Page 12

■ Computers

Dell cuts some prices

Dell Inc has cut prices by as much as 22 percent on select computer equipment for US corporate and insti-tutional customers, saying it was passing along savings from lower component prices. The Texas-based company said the lower prices are only for select servers, workstations, desk-tops and notebooks for corporate and institutional clients, not consumers.

Dell spokesman Tom Kehoe said the timing of the price cuts close to Christmas

was coincidental. Dell has

a long history of passing along savings to customers when part prices drop, said Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies. Dell

has about 13 percent of

the global computer market and employs about 53,000.

■ Semiconductors

Intel recovers from errors

Intel Corp chief executive Craig Barrett said on Tues-day the company has "recovered" from product missteps that plagued the chip maker during the first half of the year. "I think the machine is firing on all eight cylinders in terms of pro-duct introductions," Barrett said during the company's analyst meeting, which was broadcast over the Internet.

Throughout the year, Intel has struggled from making the wrong bets on micro-processor production to failing to meet delivery schedules. Barrett said Intel still sees an "immense growth opportunity" in the communications market and has "fully recovered" from the pricing missteps in its memory business.

■ Crime

China Aviation boss seized

Singaporean police arrested the chief executive of China Aviation Oil's (中國航油) subsidiary yesterday, following the company's announcement last week

of massive trading losses. Chen Jiulin (陳久霖) returned from China early yesterday and was placed under arrest, officials said. Last week the company said it had lost US$550 million

on derivatives trading, forcing it to seek court protection from creditors. Court docu-ments show that the parent company, state-linked China Aviation Oil Holding Co, knew about the losses when it sold a big stake in the Singapore-listed trader, prompting accusa-tions of insider trading.

■ Semiconductors

TI raises 4Q forecast

Texas Instruments fine-tuned its forecast for fourth-quarter sales and profits

on Tuesday while staying within the boundaries of

its previous forecasts. It said it would earn US$0.25 to US$0.27 per share, in line with the US$0.26 per share forecast of analysts sur-veyed by Thomson First Call. In October, the com-pany predicted fourth-quarter profit of US$0.24

to US$0.28 per share. It also said it expected sales between US$3.02 billion

and US$3.14 billion -- the mid-point of its less-precise forecast of US$2.96 billion to US$3.20 billion.

■ Retail

Wal-Mart eyes Daiei

Wal-Mart Stores is among the potential suitors for cash-strapped Japanese supermarket chain Daiei Inc, which is undergoing government-guided rehabili-tation, while the US retail giant hopes to grow in the world's second largest retail market. A Wal-Mart spokes-woman in Tokyo confirmed yesterday that the retailer remains interested in Daiei. Wal-Mart is interested in international growth and will look at opportunities, she said, while refusing to elaborate. Wal-Mart Stores, the world's largest retailer, has a 37.3 percent stake in Japanese retailer Seiyu Ltd.