The online search wars hit a feverish pitch today. In one corner, Google announced it has added 1 billion more pages to its Web index, bringing the total to 4.28 billion pages. In the other, Yahoo! says its ready to run its search engine without Google's help. Yahoo!, the first mover and industry heavyweight of the late 1990s, has been licensing Google technology since 2000 to run its search. But in the past two years, it has spent $2 billion acquiring the technology needed to compete with Google, and the two partners are splitting up.
Google is privately held and doesn't release its financials, but it's estimated to have between $700 million and $1 billion in revenue vs. Yahoo!'s reported $1.6 billion in revenue last year. So, do you Yahoo! or Google? Stay tuned. With an anticipated Google IPO in the works, the search wars will only get hotter in the coming months.
In today's Motley Fool Take:
- Intel's Role Reversed
- Shameless Plug: Motley Fool Hidden Gems
- No Great Acclaim
- Discussion Board of the Day: Video & PC Games
- Abercrombie & Rich?
- More on Fool.com Today
Intel's Role Reversed
By Tim Beyers
In a remarkable turnabout, Intel
What does that mean? Most microprocessors, like the current Xeon, can eat only 32 bits of information at a time. A 64-bit chip effectively doubles a computer's appetite. The faster a computer digests information, the faster it crunches numbers, processes online purchases, or pushes Web pages. The next generation Xeon, expected in the second quarter, will be able to handle 32 and 64 bits simultaneously -- a processing smorgasbord, if you will.
Since AMD built this capability into its Opteron chips last April, investors may be wondering why Intel remained on the sidelines.
Well, for one, 64-bit chips need software designed to send information in 64-bit chunks to take full advantage of the breakthrough. Not much of this kind of software exists today, so it's notable that Xeon is expected to run software tuned for AMD's 64-bit chips. Microsoft
And then there's Intel's partnership with Hewlett-Packard
What's next? Intel reiterated its support for Itanium even as it announced the new Xeon at its semi-annual conference for developers, which leaves computer makers with tough choices regarding which chip to choose. Usually, ambiguity isn't good in the computer industry.
But, as an investor, it's tough not to like Intel's response to AMD. CEO Craig Barrett came just short of declaring war on his rival, pledging to help build an "ecosystem" for Xeon. That created quick action in the industry. IBM, HP, and Unisys Corp.
Give AMD round one, but this bout should go the distance, and Intel looks prepared to fight. You might want to grab a ringside seat.
Motley Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a tech geek but prefers his chips with salsa. He doesn't own shares of any of the companies mentioned here.
Shameless Plug: Motley Fool Hidden Gems
The only thing harder to find than a hidden gem is a great small-cap investment newsletter. The good news is that if you find one, you've found the other. That is, so long as you found the newsletter, not the gem. Rather than put up with any more of this doublespeak, why not take a free trial of Motley Fool Hidden Gems? It's Tom Gardner's baby -- and each month he fills it with two terrific small-cap stock ideas.
No Great Acclaim
By Rick Aristotle Munarriz (TMF Edible)
More Mortal than Kombat, Acclaim Entertainment
Acclaim isn't a pretty sight. It's been two years since the stock traded above $5, and you'd have to go back six years to the last time Acclaim changed hands in the double-digits. Between its heavy debt burden, bloody financials, and negative book value, Acclaim needs more than just a hit.
For all that, it's a lucrative sector when done right. Market leader Electronic Arts
On the console side, a persistent Microsoft
This is in no way a fading industry. Just set aside the penny stocks like Acclaim and save those quarters for the arcade. The game is still going strong for those who know how to play.
Rick may not be too encouraged by Acclaim's financials but that doesn't stop him from enjoying a game of Acclaim's All-Star Baseball with his son. He does not own any of the stocks mentioned in this story.
Discussion Board of the Day: Video & PC Games
Will Acclaim put on its game face or will it be the next to go under? What separates the winners from the losers in the field of video game publishing? Is Nintendo a fading platform? All this and more -- in the Video & PC Games discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Abercrombie & Rich?
By Alyce Lomax
Abercrombie & Fitch
The retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings of $94.3 million, or $0.96 per share, as compared to earnings of $92.8 million, or $0.93 per share, for the same quarter one year ago. The company's net sales may have risen nearly 5% to $560.4 million, but same-store sales dropped 11%, a disturbing signal considering confidence is higher than it was last year.
When Foolish co-founder Tom Gardner performed an analysis of the pros and cons facing the company last month in Retail Bust or Quick Double?, he highlighted one particular roadblock to an Abercrombie comeback in same-store sales: management's decision not to lower the prices on its apparel. Now the company's come up with a completely opposing strategy.
Intense competition for the young adult's wallet has been evident in the struggles for many youth-oriented retailers. Both Abercrombie and American Eagle Outfitters
When Abercrombie reported dismal third-quarter numbers, Fool LouAnn Lofton discussed concerns about the company's strategy, including the idea that maybe it's lost touch with young adults altogether, given the success of retailers like Hot Topic
Abercrombie declared a dividend for shareholders, which is the kind of thing The Motley Fool's Income Investor subscribers rejoice in, and in fact, look for in a stock. But right now, it seems another way to assuage investors who might worry that Abercrombie will lose more and more "cool points" with its customer base. (Speaking of coolness, management sees the price hike as a way to show Abercrombie's one of the "coolest" brands. Paying more can make people feel they are getting the better product, but considering recent problems, in Abercrombie's case, I don't quite buy it.)
Investors cheered the numbers this morning, with the stock recently up nearly 11%, but how long they will keep cheering remains to be seen. Higher prices may boost sales numbers in the short term, but all bets are off as to whether the kids will pay higher prices for what they've shunned for so long.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.
Quote of Note
"Half this game is ninety percent mental." -- Yogi Berra
More on Fool.com Today
A new study shows that almost half of shareholder costs are undisclosed or nearly impossible to find. Robert Brokamp show you... The Fund Fees You Don't See. Adding to the intrigue, our own international man of mystery Bill Mann lays out the... Foreign Threats to U.S. Profits if overseas courts decide to start targeting U.S. firms. But enough about the big boys on the block, Rich Smith breaks down... The Making of a Momentum Stock with little-known food distributor Lifeway Foods, which has doubled its share price in the past week. And don't miss Tom Gardner's radio interview with Overstock.com's CEO Patrick Byrne in... Why Can't a CEO Tell the Truth?
In other news:
- Hey, Ya... Nice Ringtone!
- Disney Gets Piggy
- Zale's Clean-Cut Quarter
- Climbing K2
- Barclays Rejects Providian
For a list of all our stories from today, see our Today's Headlines page.