The Motley Fool went on record last Friday with our conviction that a Super Bowl victory by the AFC meant good tidings for the bulls. True to form, the broader markets eked out a gain today. Well, all but the Nasdaq. Then again, technology stocks are all about the commercials anyway.

Speaking of which, we hear that the spot with the talking Willie Nelson doll doling out advice to taxpayers didn't go over so well. Duh. If you're going to take financial advice from a doll, it's gotta be Dayana Yochim.

In today's Motley Fool Take:

Intel Unveils New Chips

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) rolled out its next generation of Pentium 4 chips today, a new line of processors that are significant not for any great speed increases but for what they tell us about the future.

The chips, which were codenamed Prescott, are the first to be mass-produced using 90-nanometer manufacturing technology -- a process that makes them smaller and less expensive than previous new releases. 3.4-gigahertz processors should be available today from many computer makers, including Dell(Nasdaq: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard(Nasdaq: HPQ). These offer only a modest clock speed increase over older versions, but Intel is hoping to release 4-gigahertz chips by the end of the year.

Intel spokesman William Siu told reporters that the later Prescott iterations are targeted for so-called "Entertainment PCs." These are devices designed to control televisions, CD and DVD players, stereo equipment, and anything else that might be a part of a home entertainment system.

Several publications today indicate that Intel has likely shipped the Prescott line with some features that are not activated. These may include better security technology and the ability to run multiple operating systems, says The Wall Street Journal, but the big question is whether 64-bit circuitry is already in place. Rival Advanced Micro Devices(NYSE: AMD) already has 64 bit-capable chips on the market, but Microsoft(Nasdaq: MSFT) and most other software makers don't yet support them. When they finally do, Intel will be ready.

The Prescott party and the move toward Entertainment PCs are two more bits of good news for the computer makers, especially in the face of an improving economy. As icing on the cake, most semis are up today after a report from the Semiconductor Industry Association revealed chip sales grew 18% in 2003.

Quote of Note

"Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training." -- Anna Freud

Take-Two's Take Two

Apparently, Take-Two Interactive(Nasdaq: TTWO) is more than just a corporate moniker. It's a philosophy. Two years after the video game developer had to restate its 2000 and 2001 results, the company is at it again.

Investors knew something unpleasant was going down last week when Take-Two failed to file its fiscal 2003 results by Thursday's deadline. The SEC was already looking into the company's revenue recognition practices, so nails were being nibbled as folks counted down the final 90 days to the filing deadline.

Take-Two posted its fourth-quarter results back in December, but also lowered its projections for fiscal 2004. On Friday, the company filed the required extension with the SEC, granting it another two weeks to remedy its accounting oversights. While the restatements will be broad, as management revisits its numbers all the way back to fiscal 1999, the actual bottom-line implications appear to be minor.

The expected fiscal 2002 and 2003 revisions were released in a 12b-25 filing, and the impact on net sales and earnings won't amount to much. They will vary by no more than 2% from its original reports -- higher in 2002 and lower in 2003.

The larger problem here is management's tendency to apply the rules-be-darned mentality that works so well in its popular Grand Theft Auto game to its operations. A restatement is always a red flag, but two? That's a burning red flag.

It's a shame because Take-Two is a force catering to bloodthirsty, diehard video gamers. While a study by industry researcher NPD Group showed that mature-rated games took a dip in sales last year relative to tamer titles, Take-Two's Grand Theft Auto franchise was the standout in the crowd.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) , Sony(NYSE: SNE), and Nintendo(Nasdaq: NTDOY) may be slugging it out on the cutthroat console hardware side, but software makers stand to reap lofty margins when their games are in demand. That's partly why both Electronic Arts(Nasdaq: ERTS) and Activision(Nasdaq: ATVI) have been singled out in Motley Fool Stock Advisor.

In Take-Two's poorly receivedState ofEmergency, players are encouraged to beat up on corporate executives. Maybe that release was ahead of its time -- before it became fashionable to bash greedy executives like those at Tyco(NYSE: TYC) and Enron. But the sentiment may serve investors well as they demand answers.

Of course, all trashing should be verbal and respectful. After all, someone has to set the example and play by the rules.

Discussion Board of the Day: Video & PC Games

Are you worried about Take-Two's accounting? What's up with the NPD Group study that found M-rated games falling from 13.2% of all games sold in 2002 to only 11.9% last year? Is the trend moving away from adult-oriented video games? All this and more -- in the Video & PC Games discussion board. Only on

Your Credit Stinks

No matter what words are used or how they are delivered, rejection always stings. Here are the top reasons, according to, lenders turn down your loan request (if you can bear reading further):

  • Serious delinquency
  • Serious delinquency, and public record or collection filed
  • Derogatory public record or collection filed
  • Time since delinquency is too recent or unknown
  • Level of delinquency on accounts
  • Number of accounts with delinquency
  • Amount owed on accounts
  • Proportion of balances to credit limits on revolving accounts is too high
  • Length of time accounts have been established
  • Too many accounts with balances
  • I think of you as a brother

OK, we made up that last one. Still, getting turned down for credit is one of the financial world's cruelest slaps in the face. So, before you court credit, see what's in your file. (TrueCredit has a special for Fool readers on a 3-in-1 credit report, which includes your overall credit score, for $29.)

If you find that your credit score is not up to snuff, there's a lot you can do to scrub it clean. And despite the misleading spam clogging your email inbox offering to fix your credit, you don't need an outsider's help to set the record straight.

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