The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 2.12%) was down 0.07% at 1:55 p.m. EST Thursday as trade deal negotiations and the impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives generated plenty of noise.
Shares of Intel (INTC 0.58%) managed a small gain despite the company's admission that it has yet to solve its supply problems. And ExxonMobil (XOM 2.32%) was up strongly following a report of an acceleration of asset sales.
Intel still dealing with supply issues
A long delay getting its 10nm manufacturing process ready for volume production has created some serious problems for Intel. Partly because of the push-out of the 10nm process, Intel has been unable to supply enough chips to meet demand. Prioritizing higher-end PC and data center chips has led to shortages in the low-end PC market.
This situation has been going on since last year, and the company confirmed in an open letter to its customers on Wednesday that it's still a problem. The company apologized to its customers in the letter for recent PC CPU shipment delays, and it said that supply remains tight, because market growth has outpaced its efforts to ramp up production.
Intel is increasing investment in 14nm capacity to reduce the impact of these shortages, and it's successfully boosted its PC CPU supply by a double-digit percentage in the second half of this year. But that hasn't been enough to satisfy the market for its chips.
This prolonged shortage gives rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD -1.35%) an opportunity to steal more market share away from Intel. AMD launched its third-generation Ryzen PC CPUs in July, built on a 7nm process from a third-party foundry. In the desktop PC CPU market, AMD has gained 5 percentage points of market share from Intel over the past year.
Intel will eventually solve its supply issues. But until it does, the company is handing AMD market share on a silver platter. Intel stock was up 0.2% despite the news.
Exxon targets $25 billion of asset sales
Oil major ExxonMobil was already planning to divest $15 billion of assets by 2021. The company is aiming to dispose of less-desirable noncore assets, using the proceeds to invest in projects that offer higher returns on investment. Exxon announced a deal to sell $4.5 billion of Norwegian assets in September as part of this plan.
Reuters reported on Thursday that Exxon has accelerated its asset sale program. The company now reportedly plans to divest up to $25 billion of assets in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The plan includes:
- Raising up to $2 billion from selling assets in the British North Sea.
- Raising up to $500 million from selling onshore gas fields in Germany.
- Raising around $250 million from selling a 50% stake in the Neptune Deep offshore prospect in the Black Sea.
- Divesting onshore and shallow-water fields in Nigeria.
- Selling a 40% stake in an onshore field in Chad.
- Exiting Equatorial Guinea.
- Selling up to $3 billion of assets in Malaysia.
- Selling a 45% interest in two blocks in Indonesia.
- Raising up to $3 billion from the sale of its 50% stake in the Gippsland Basin development in Australia.
- Raising up to $1 billion from selling its 6.8% stake in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli field in the Caspian Sea.
- Selling stakes in various fields in the Gulf of Mexico.
Shares of Exxon are essentially flat this year. The stock was up 1.9% on the asset sale news.