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The following was first posted on the TMF Editor's Desk Blog ... where the Fool's editors sound off on market happenings, serve up the inside scoop, and occasionally get snarky. You can find it right on the Fool's homepage (you may have to scroll down a little, on the left side of the page).
Looking at the headlines, you might have noticed rainbows and puppies frolicking in glorious meadows today in technology. Let's get happy, people -- the tech rebound is in full swing!
Or so you'd be led to believe by the headlines... But we're really looking at some news that's only positive because of reduced expectations. To be fair, the sector's been down for a while, so any incremental improvement should be welcomed, but the numbers are a reminder of the deep hole many of the cyclical technology firms are digging out of.
Let's take a look at the day's news:
Intel (Nasdaq: INTC )
Intel decided to raise guidance for Q3. We've seen some strength in semiconductors recently, as several companies have burned through backed-up inventories and are starting to produce at higher volumes once again. As the industry's 800-pound gorilla, people stand up and take notice when Intel reports good news. As of this writing, investors have bid the company's stock up 5% on the day. Not bad for a company of its size. If Intel can deliver on its expected revenue of $9 billion, it'll mean about a 12% year-over year drop in revenue. However, that figure's an impressive rebound from the 26% year-over-year drop the company saw during the first quarter of the year.
Dell (Nasdaq: DELL )
Ready for another exercise in setting the bar so low that you can't help but cheer when a company manages to trip over it? Well, good, we can talk about Dell. The company reported a 23% drop in earnings, but beat earnings estimates by $0.02 a share. Those numbers were good enough to put a smile on Dell investors' faces today; the stock's trading up about 4% as of this writing.
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL )
After several years of contentious negotiations with China's cellular leader, China Mobile (NYSE: CHL ) , Apple is jumping ship and nestling up with smaller competitor China Unicom (NYSE: CHU ) . Apple gets a new market that presents a huge opportunity; China has 687 million mobile phone users, compared to 270 million in the U.S., and China Unicom's customer base stands at about 140 million.
Chinese companies have been working hard to roll out 3G networks, so the deal makes a lot of sense. However, Apple will face more of an uphill battle in the country, as it fights a large, entrenched market leader (China Mobile) that has been signing deals left and right with competitors such as Dell and HTC in a bid to lessen the impact of the iPhone. This will be an [interesting] test for the company. While iPhone sales performed better than initially reported in other markets such as Japan, the company hasn't replicated its U.S. success abroad as it faces more entrenched competitors like Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) , Samsung, and Sony Ericsson, all of which never really caught on in the U.S. Read more here.
Am I missing anything, or do you have comments on any of these stories? Drop me a line in the comments box below.
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