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A look at recent tech-industry earnings

By The Associated Press
January 24, 2011

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Here is a summary of recent earnings and reports for selected technology companies and what they reveal about the state of spending and the overall economy:

Jan. 13: Intel Corp. says net income jumped 48 percent, mainly on strong demand from corporations for Intel's higher-profit server chips. Yet the sour economy and the rise of smaller and sleeker gadgets such as the iPad have hurt consumers' appetite for new PCs, depressing that part of Intel's business.

Jan. 18: Apple Inc. says its net income for the holiday quarter jumped 78 percent to $6 billion as shoppers snapped up more iPads than analysts predicted. People also bought iPhones as fast as Apple could make them. The strong results were enough to make investors forget, for the moment, the news that CEO Steve Jobs is taking another medical leave of absence.

IBM Corp. rode rising business interest in outsourcing and soaring sales of its new System Z mainframe computer to report fourth-quarter net income that was better than analysts expected. As corporations spend more to upgrade their computer systems, that has benefited companies like IBM that specialize in corporate sales, even though consumer demand for electronics is lagging and other companies' results have been hurt.

Jan. 19: EBay Inc. says fourth-quarter revenue rose 5 percent, as the healthy holiday shopping season bolstered growth in its online marketplace and PayPal online payments business. Net income fell, as the quarter a year earlier included a large gain from the sale of Internet communications business Skype. Excluding such special items, eBay's fourth-quarter income rose 24 percent.

Jan. 20: Google Inc. earned $2.5 billion during the final three months of 2010, a 29 percent increase from the prior year. Revenue climbed 26 percent to $8.44 billion. Google has plenty of ammunition left to finance its ambitions for this year and beyond. It ended December with $35 billion in cash. These numbers were overshadowed by the announcement that CEO Eric Schmidt is stepping aside as CEO for co-founder Larry Page to take over.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. says fourth-quarter income shrank from a year ago, when a big legal settlement it won from archrival chip maker Intel Corp. pumped up AMD's earnings. Excluding unusual items, however, AMD's results for the last three months of 2010 topped Wall Street forecasts. And it projects higher revenue for the first quarter of 2011 than analyst do on average, according to FactSet.

Monday: Texas Instruments Inc. says its fourth-quarter results narrowly beat expectations, and the chip-maker is now past a "short and shallow downturn" that hit in the second half of last year.

Coming up:

Wednesday: Xerox Corp. Motorola Mobility Inc., Qualcomm Inc.

Thursday: Microsoft Corp., Motorola Solutions Inc., Amazon.com Inc.

Feb. 2: IAC/InterActiveCorp., AOL Inc.

Feb. 15: Dell Inc.