Sun to Unveil New Chip (Breakfast News) August 2, 1999


Monday, August 2, 1999

"Two and two continue to make four, in spite of the whine of the amateur for three, or the cry of the critic for five."
-- James Whistler

Sun to Unveil New Chip

Computer workstation maker Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) intends to unveil plans for a new computer chip designed to handle complex graphics, sound, and video at very high speeds using its Java programming language. The new chip is called MAJC, as in "magic," and stands for "microprocessor architecture for Java computing."

Sun already makes a SPARC computer chip used primarily in its workstation and server computers. The MAJC chip will focus on a new market -- applications that use a lot of different data such as speech, animation, and video.

The new chip architecture will execute programs written in Java, C, and C++. Sun isn't targeting the PC market with this new single-chip family, but instead will focus on set-top boxes, digital television, video game consoles, and personal digital assistants.

News to Go

In a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, 60% of the people who use a computer at work or at home said that they had a favorable opinion of Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT). That compares with a 67% favorable rating a year ago and 73% in October 1997. According to Microsoft's own market research, there has been no erosion in its public image. Favorable ratings have held steady at 75%, according to the company.

Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) may be close to naming two executives with television backgrounds to run its Warner Bros. studio, The Wall Street Journal reported. Barry Meyer, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Warner Bros., is poised to take on significantly greater responsibilities overseeing both the movie and TV divisions of the studio. In addition, Alan Horn, chairman of Castle Rock Entertainment, is in talks about joining Warner Bros. in a top position. Castle Rock was acquired by Turner Broadcasting in 1993 before its merger with Time Warner.

Flu vaccines maker Chiron Corp. (Nasdaq: CHIR) said it has received national marketing authorizations to market its influenza vaccine, Agrippal, in most Western European countries. The company added that the approval gives it adequate time before the flu season to "fully leverage our marketing efforts."

AMSTED Industries, which makes products for the rail, truck, and auto components industries, will acquire Varlen Corp. (Nasdaq: VRLN) in a cash deal valued at about $790 million, including $50 million in assumed debt. The $42 per share price represents an 11% premium over Varlen's closing price Friday and a 62% premium over the close on May 17, the day before AMSTED announced its intention to commence its tender offer.

Earnings to Go

(Quarterly earnings per share versus that of the same year-earlier quarter and compared with analysts' mean estimate. Earnings exclude one-time charges and gains.)

AutoNation (NYSE: AN) -- Q2 EPS: $0.21 (continuing operations) vs. $0.11 last year; estimate: $0.27

CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) -- Q2 EPS: $0.11 (continuing operations) vs. $0.01 last year; estimate: $0.11

Willbros Group (NYSE: WG) -- Q2 EPS: loss of $0.74 vs. profit of $0.25 last year; estimate: loss of $0.66

More Foolishness

See what you might've missed last week in the latest Notes From a Fool... Rob Landley says the Rule Maker should put more money in Intel... Check out a StockTalk interview with the CFO of General Instrument... Looking for a financial planner? Read this first.

By Yi-Hsin Chang (TMF Puck) (TMF Puck)

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