Oh, poor Microsoft and their declining business. No one thinks they're cool anymore, and that surely means they are going down in flames. After all, they only pulled in a measly $20 billion in revenue last quarter. Wait, what? Indeed, good old Microsoft has had a record quarter with nearly $20 billion in sales, working out to $6.63 billion in profit after all the bills are paid. That's $0.77 per share for you stock market folks.
The cheers are surly rattling the windows up in Redmond on the news. The Entertainment and Devices division saw a 55% increase in revenue on the strength of Kinect and the Xbox 360. This is rather astonishing seeing as the division that makes Windows is only $1.3 billion ahead of the Xbox folks now. That used to be a much wider gulf. All the more reason to milk the current console generation that much more.
One Microsoft product that isn't getting much attention is Windows Phone 7. If it had made an impact on the bottom line, we assume Ballmer would have been dancing on the roof, or something like that. Still, with these sorts of numbers, they can afford to build WP7 slowly.
As Android grows, so too does HTC, Taiwan's No. 1 smartphone maker. It's been a banner year for HTC, which announced fourth-quarter earnings twice as high as one year ago, according to an AP report.
HTC continues to cash in on the smartphone frenzy and saw its net profit for the fourth quarter reach $500 million. That's a 160 percent jump from a year earlier and a 31 percent surge from the third quarter. All this success has HTC thinking about tablets, albeit cautiously.
"It's a new market with many competitors, and we don't want to rush into it," said Peter Chou, HTC chief executive. "We hope the product we eventually unveil will be one that meets consumers' needs."
HTC is wise to play it patient here. Early Android tablets, while showing some promise, lack the polish that Google's upcoming Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) is supposed to bring to the table. Honeycomb is being built from the ground up with tablets in mind, and from what little we've seen so far, it appears to be a much more appropriate OS to base a tablet on.
In the meantime, HTC is killing it in the smartphone market. The handset maker shipped 24.6 million handsets in all last year, which is more than twice the number it shipped in 2009.
Overall one would have to say it was a fairly good year for AMD, who despite still trailing Intel for the performance crown, still managed to post $6.49 billion in revenue for the year ended December 25, 2010, the chip maker announced on Thursday. Revenue was pretty evenly divided up (flat) between quarters, with AMD posting $1.62 billion in Q3 and $1.65 billion in Q4.
"AMD enters 2011 with significant momentum, amplified by the successful launch of our first Fusion APUs," said Thomas Seifert, CFO and Interim CEO. "I am confident we can drive profitable growth based on the strength of new products we will bring to market. Our customers recognize that Fusion APUs are at the core of delivering the world's most vivid digital experience."
The numbers were just high enough to beat out Wall Street estimates, which expected earnings of 11 cents on revenue of $1.63 billion for the fourth quarter.
Where AMD goes from here is up for debate. Following a disagreement between AMD's board and longtime CEO Dirk Meyers over the chip maker's mobile strategy (or lack thereof), Meyer recently stepped down in what the two sides described as a "mutual agreement."
Western Digital on Tuesday reported revenue of $2.475 billion for its second fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2010. That's down slightly from one year ago, in which WD posted $2.619 billion, but the hard drive maker isn't complaining.
"We are pleased to deliver better-than-expected revenues, profitability, and gross margin in the December quarter, reflecting solid execution and an improvement in hard drive industry conditions compared with the prior two quarters," said John Coyne, president and chief executive officer. "The opportunity for profitable growth in our industry remains tremendous and we are committed to improving our financial performance over the longer term. We plan to do so with a continued emphasis on our industry-leading low-cost structure, high quality, highly reliable and highly available products, and a sharp focus on matching production with true customer demand."
Western Digital shipped 52.2 million hard drives during its second fiscal quarter, which contributed $225 million. During the same quarter in 2009, WD shipped 49.5 million hard drives.
The sultan of search (that would be Google, in case there was any doubt) continues to stuff its pockets with more advertising dollars, and if iSuppli's numbers are right, Google just expanded its lead in the search advertising market.
Google will soon release its fourth quarter and full-year earnings reports, and based on the results for the first three quarters of 2010, iSuppli estimates Google's full-year search revenue to be around $25.4 billion. That's a more than 20 percent increase over 2009. Perhaps more importantly, that means Google would have increased its market share lead by claiming an 83 percent stake, up from 81 percent in 2009.
"With the arrival of Microsoft’s Bing and rising competitive obstacles in fast-growing regions including China, Russia and South Korea, 2010 seemed like it might be the year that Google would surrender some of its dominance in the global search advertising market," said Vincent Létang, senior analyst and head of advertising research for IHS. "However, even amid these challenges, Google managed to outgrow the overall market. What makes Google’s outperformance even more impressive is that it came during a year when the overall market revenue rose at an impressive double-digit percentage following a slowdown in 2009."
Impressive indeed. According to iSuppli, the global search advertising market was worth $30.4 billion in 2010, leaving less than $5 billion for any company not named Google.
Intel on Thursday reported full-year revenue of $43.6 billion, operating income of $15.9 billion, net income of $11.7 billion, and EPS of $2.05 billion. Can you guess what they all have in common? Each one represents a new record for Intel, which posted its best quarter, and year, in the entire history of the company.
"2010 was the best year in Intel's history. We believe that 2011 will be even better," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO.
In terms of percentages, Intel's revenue for 2010 was 24 percent higher than 2009, while its operating income and net income where an obscene 179 percent and 167 percent higher, respectively.
What's even more impressive is that these are all pre-Sandy Bridge numbers. Intel's Atom processor and chipset products contributed $1.6 billion in revenue, up 8 percent on year, while the average selling price (ASP) of microprocessors in general was slightly up sequentially, Intel said.
Analysts were expecting Intel to make some money, but the chipmaker beat everyone's expectations, including their own. According to All Things D, Intel reported revenue of $11.5 billion with sales up 8% year over year. But with that sales increase, profits were up 48%. As you might expect, Intel's shares are selling up on the news. Gartner is reporting that PC sales ended up weaker than expected in the 4th quarter, so these results are even more impressive.
Most of Intel's divisions were seeing increased sales. Even Atom chips are still moving nicely. Although, the coming year may be difficult with new Windows on ARM initiatives and mobile chips from Nvidia and Qualcomm exploding. But Intel still expects to maintain in 2011. They are predicting the same $11.5 billion in revenue for next year. Only time will tell if Intel's mobile parts can gain market share to return those numbers.
Acer, the same outspoken company with aspirations of becoming the number one PC maker by 2012, suffered a setback of sorts in October with non-consolidated revenues of just $1.24 billion, DigiTimes reports. We say "just $1.24 billion" because that's actually down nearly 36 percent from one month prior, and down 26.5 percent on year.
Confident as ever, Acer points out that its non-consolidated monthly numbers don't represent overall performance and the company fully expects its consolidated fourth quarter revenues to show a 5-10 percent sequential growth rate.
So why the hiccup in October's numbers? Acer blamed the slump on component shortages, which caused some shipments to be delayed last month. Even still, Acer managed to ship out about 9.75 million notebooks in the third quarter, jumping ahead of HP.
Hulu CEO Jason Kilar offered up some interesting numbers today to illustrate the strength of the streaming video service. If you take Kilar's word for it, the prognosis is good. According to Kilar, Hulu is on track to make over $240 million in revenue in 2010. Other notable figures included 30 million monthly users, 800 million ad impressions, and 352 ad partners.
Not bad for a service that many pundits expected to fail out of the gate. Hulu has made its way by showing limited ads during video streams. A pay versions was launched recently, but it's not clear how much of the total revenue will come from those $10 per month subscriptions.
One thing is clear about this: internet TV is big, and as much as the networks might want to think of Hulu as a secondary content source, it is fast becoming a dominant one. We're interested to see how Hulu does now that the paid Hulu Plus service is open to everyone. Of course, Kilar didn't mention profits, so it's possible Hulu is still treading water. Could we be seeing sky-high profits soon?
AMD would never admit it, but the world's No. 2 chip maker would probably love to trade places with Intel (most corporations would). While Intel just finished posting its first ever $11 billion quarter, AMD just announced revenue of $1.62 billion for the third quarter of 2010. That includes a net loss of $118 million, or $0.17 per share.
"AMD's third quarter performance was highlighted by solid gross margin and a continued focus on profitability, despite weaker than expected consumer demand," said Dirk Meyer, AMD president and CEO. "Our strategy to deliver platforms with superior visual experiences continues to resonate. We look forward to building on the momentum when we begin shipping our first AMD Fusion Accelerated Processor units later this quarter."
Despite weaker than expected demand, AMD's graphic business for the quarter showed a 33 percent improvement over the same quarter one year ago.