ASML could be cousin to ARM in next tech wave

July 20, 2016

Like the UK chip-designer Japan's SoftBank has agreed to buy, ASML is a niche but dominant player. Its tools make chips smaller and punchier. ASML would be harder to take over than ARM, but if big data and the internet of things merit the hype, it's in a good position to cash in.

Intel chips in for elusive post-M&A pricing power

June 1, 2015

Its $17 bln swoop on Altera is the third big semiconductor deal of late. The six participants’ market caps have jumped by up to $35 bln. Cost cuts account for well under half that. The rest may reflect hopes that the acquirers can work magic on their top lines. That’s optimistic.

Google finds new tech expectations hard to meet

January 20, 2012

The Internet giant’s revenue rocketed 25 pct, but its shares still plunged after hours. Google failed to match Wall Street’s hopes, whereas Microsoft and IBM’s more pedestrian results reassured. In uncertain times, the old guard’s predictability can trump edgier possibilities.

Intel deal closes circuit to faster chips, growth

July 10, 2012

Next-generation chips are cheaper, quicker and use less power. But toolmakers have been unwilling or unable to spend the sums needed to make the switch. Intel’s $4.1 bln ASML investment deploys offshore cash to remove such bottlenecks and forces rivals to play to its strengths.

Surprise Intel $7.7 bln security deal is a gamble

August 19, 2010

Intel's $7.7 billion deal to buy security firm McAfee isn't only a surprise, it's also a gamble. Mobile gadgets are the chip industry's future, and Intel has fallen behind. It is betting that combining McAfee's security software with its hardware will give it a leg up. Perhaps so. But investors who knocked down Intel's shares are rightly skeptical the chipmaker can pull it off.

Intel and Rio pull markets in opposite directions

July 14, 2010

It's the beginning of a strong economic recovery. Just ask the folks at Intel. The chip producer is smiling because companies "have some breathing room in the economy and their budgets", as chief executive Paul Otellini put it on Tuesday. Or maybe it's the end of a weak recovery. Tom Albanese, the boss of miner Rio Tinto, subsequently noted "fears about a possible double-dip recession in OECD countries and a slight slowdown in Chinese growth".

Oracle’s Ellison takes on EU trust-buster

November 10, 2009

USA/In the footsteps of Jack Welch and Bill Gates, Oracle’s Larry Ellison is the latest U.S. chief executive to fall foul of the European Union’s trust-buster despite winning backing from regulators in Washington.

The financial paradox of PC unit growth

September 24, 2009

Depending on what measures you use, the personal computer industry either is on the cusp of another Golden Age or in a downward spiral. From a financial point of view, the latter is more accurate.