It's Dueling Fools Day again on Today, Fools W.D. Crotty and Seth Jayson duke it out over Nokia. W.D. thinks the Scandinavian cellular giant is poised to deliver, while Seth thinks it'll be disconnected. Read their arguments, and then tell us what you think.

In today's Motley Fool Take:

Amazon on Demand


Alyce Lomax

(TMF Lomax)

New Yorkers are known for their hectic lives, and some of those ordering from AMZN) recently may have gotten a pleasant surprise. According to The Wall Street Journal, the retailer has been testing same-day delivery in Manhattan. (Let's face it, how cool would it have been to get Return of the King delivered straight to the office when it was released last week?)

Same-day delivery isn't something New York customers request -- or pay extra for -- yet, since it's a test. Meanwhile, the ability to get a best-seller, or a chart-topping CD online the same day could make things harder for retailers like Barnes & Noble(NYSE: BKS) (which the article said also offers delivery in Manhattan) and Borders(NYSE: BGP); the need for instant gratification has always been viewed as an Amazonian Achilles heel.

Amazon's free-shipping option was once controversial, as people questioned shrinking profit margins. In fact, the move had the positive effect of encouraging people to load up their virtual shopping carts. Well-executed risks that turned into rewards have been why this long-time Motley Fool Stock Advisor stock has proven itself the cream of the Internet crop.

The Journal stated that Amazon already offers accelerated shipping for next-day delivery of some items. Indeed, same-day or even next-day delivery, with a premium charge tacked on for impatient consumers, could be a key to Amazon increasing profit margins.

Online shopping is on the upswing, as was explored earlier this week here at the Fool. Amazon's obviously not slacking off at this critical juncture, having been working on lots of things quietly and behind the scenes.

Its online jewelry store was publicized only after it had already been rolled out; its e-commerce-friendly search engine,, is out in the Internet wilds after little fanfare. In early April, Rick Munarriz pinpointed another way Amazon "gets it," leveraging its online prowess into more bang for customer buck.

As much as we all might relish the idea of ordering, say, the next Harry Potter book online for same-day delivery, think of the cash infusion to set up facilities centers with the right inventory in multiple cities. So, don't hold your breath for Amazon to make it as easy to get a new DVD as ordering in Chinese food in your neighborhood.

As much as I have come to expect from Amazon (and feel that if anyone can do it, Amazon can), the name of the game for most of us Amazon customers will likely continue to be "good things come to those who wait" -- just a little while, anyway.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. She finds it interesting that another of Amazon's offerings is the site many of us go to look up movies, casts, and filmographies, -- though it seems surprising its search tab uses Google, and not A9.

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Intel 's Gritty Smile


Rick Aristotle Munarriz (TMF Edible) (TMF Edible)

The chips were never really stacked against the chip makers. Even when companies like Advanced Micro Devices(NYSE: AMD) and Intel(Nasdaq: INTC) were struggling with sluggish demand for personal computers, you knew you couldn't keep the semiconductor stocks down.

Things have improved for Intel over the past few quarters. After last night's upbeat mid-quarter report, it looks as if the good times will continue.

The company is now looking to produce between $8 billion to $8.2 billion in revenues during the second quarter. That's on the high end of its earlier projected range, with a surge in flash memory leading the way. The news stays good on the way to the bottom line; the company expects gross margins to stay above 60% and its tax rate to dip to 32%.

While analysts may credit Intel's optimism to gains in market share -- and that may certainly be the case with Intel nibbling away at AMD's beefy stake in flash memory -- the groundswell is far more widespread than the cookout in Intel's backyard.

The tech research specialists at Gartner are forecasting chip sales to grow by 28% this year. It's not just computers, of course. From folks picking up new cellular phones as they are being wooed by attractive rival offers (thanks to mobile portability) to early adopters scooping up nifty DVD recorders, it's a good time for most chip stocks. So let Intel take a bow, but don't forget to shine some of that light over to other players toiling away in other chip niches -- like Texas Instruments(NYSE: TXN).

Yes, it's safe to lay your chips on the chip makers these days. While Gartner is projecting a more modest 15% uptick in demand next year, the cyclical strides feel far better than the cyclical slides.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks that Intel chips are fast but that he could still cream one in a footrace. He owns no shares in any companies mentioned in this story.

Discussion Board of the Day: Fools Fighting Over Nokia

Fools W.D. Crotty and Seth Jayson squared off on Nokia today. Who had the most compelling arguments? Would you own Nokia? Tell us what you think.

Circuit City a Little Short?


Alyce Lomax (TMF Lomax)

Investors applauded Circuit City(NYSE: CC) today as it revealed its sales numbers for the first quarter. The electronics retailer said its first-quarter same-store sales increased by 6.4%, a decent upswing that nevertheless is overshadowed by its rival, Best Buy(NYSE: BBY).

Circuit City also said that its total sales in the first quarter increased 7% to $2.07 billion, which included $21.5 million in sales from its recent acquisition of Canada's InterTAN. (The company said it will break out domestic and international sales numbers starting in the second quarter.)

Though surely it was nice to hear of an improving outlook, Circuit City, to its credit, was the first to admit that its improved same-store sales figures looked better since the first quarter of last year was a soft one. Strong sales in this quarter came from digital, plasma, and LCD TVs, DVD players, and digital imaging products.

However, it's still hard to find the charm in Circuit City when you consider Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Best Buy. Best Buy said yesterday that its same-store sales were up 8.3%, with overall sales rocketing 17% to $5.47 billion. It said its solid sales came from digital TVs and digital cameras, DVD movies, notebooks, and MP3 players.

Shares of both companies increased in today's trading session, with Circuit City adding on nearly 3%. Circuit City has many fans awaiting a turnaround, and some who glance at the shares at $12.58 per share may think they sound "cheap" for such a classic retailer that many of us may remember from younger days. In reality, the shares are trading at 45 times the forward earnings estimate.

Meanwhile, take into consideration a whole slew of formidable rival forces, not just Best Buy, and it sounds like a pretty risky investment indeed, despite some folks' enthusiasm for the underdog. In other words, it still doesn't seem like time to move into this City.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. She bought her very first stereo components at Circuit City more than 15 years ago, but hasn't set foot in one in recent memory. In fact, she just recently purchased her brand-new TiVo(Nasdaq: TIVO) at Best Buy.

Quote of Note

"Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions than ruined by too confident security." -- Edmund Burke

More on Today

Rick Munarriz says that Disney and Pixar are waging a war of words that neither party intends to lose.... In Whitney Tilson's Munger Goes Mental, Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway talks economics and chutzpah.

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