Wall Street: Apple, Google make history

Tech-company investors this week faced a mixed bag of news, including some historic events.

Tech-company investors this week faced a mixed bag of news, including some historic events, as Apple Computer and Intel joined forces, Texas Instruments (TI) issued an upbeat earnings forecast and Google shares headed skyward in a moment reminiscent of the dot-com boom.

Ten months after its initial public offering, Google shares ascended to the point where the company became the most highly valued media company in the world, beating Time Warner. This is a case of really new media beating out semi-new media: The current incarnation of Time Warner was born five years ago when America Online (AOL) purchased Time Warner for approximately US$110 billion. That combination, pitched as a synergistic merging of old and new media, turned sour as ultimately aspects of AOL's business ended up dragging down Time Warner profitability.

Google's moment came Tuesday, when the company's share price (ticker symbol: GOOG) jumped US$2.18 to close at US$293.12, and during the day came within a dollar of US$300. That made Google's Tuesday market capitalization (share price times number of outstanding shares) about US$80 billion, against Time Warner's US$78.1 billion. That's an echo of the dot-com boom when "positioning" and "potential" in the Internet market counted for more than old-fashioned sales: Google 2004 sales were US$3.2 billion against Time Warner's US$42 billion.

Google faces tough competition from rivals including Microsoft and a variety of online search and information companies. However, only one out of 29 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial is recommending a sell of Google stock, while 24 are recommending either a buy or a "strong buy."

The week started out with another historic moment: Apple's Steve Jobs taking the Macworld stage in San Francisco to confirm rumors: The company will be using Intel chips in the future, moving away from PowerPC processors made by IBM and Freescale Semiconductor. Theoretically, that means Macs will be able to run native Windows.

There are good technical reasons for the switch, according to analysts. Intel chips over the next few years could give Apple a better performance-for-power-consumption ratio than PowerPC chips, and supplies of PowerPC over the past year were a bit low for comfort. However, even though some Mac software developers at Macworld said they were unfazed by the switch, the move is still a risk for Apple. If developers don't port their applications to Intel architecture in a timely manner, it could have a negative impact on Apple sales.

Apple (AAPL) shares declined by US$0.32 to close at US$37.92 Monday, while IBM (IBM) shares declined US$0.79, to US$75.00 However, since Apple counts for only about 2 percent of IBM chip production at its Fishkill, New York, plant, no one really expects the loss of Apple business to affect Big Blue as it seeks inroads to a bigger market: processors for gaming and entertainment devices.

In a bright moment for the chip sector, TI Tuesday raised its earnings and revenue forecast for the second quarter and Intel followed suit on Thursday.

TI shifted to what earlier was the higher range of its estimate. TI said "growing demand across a broad range" of products were responsible for the uptick. It said it expects earnings between US$0.27 and US$0.30 a share and sales between US$3.12 billion and US$3.24 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had forecast earnings of US$0.27 a share from sales of US$3.1 billion.

Before the TI announcement, which came after markets closed, shares (TXN) dropped US$0.54 to US$27.21. Wednesday however company shares closed up US$0.62, at US$27.90.

Intel (INTC) boosted its revenue range to US$9.1 billion [b] to US$9.3 billion, compared to a previous range of US$8.6 billion to US$9.2 billion on the basis of strong demand for notebook products. The announcement was made after markets closed.

In other notable news of the week:

-- Computer Associates International (CA) announced Thursday that it is buying Niku., an IT management and governance software company, for about US$350 million in cash. CA shares closed at US$27.01, up US$0.01, while Niku (NIKU) closed up US$4.16 at US$20.66.

-- Oracle is buying privately held TimesTen, which makes software that boosts the performance of database applications in stock trading, airline reservations and other industries requiring fast response times. Oracle closed flat at US$12.67 on Thursday after the news was announced.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Marc Ferranti

IDG News Service
Show Comments


Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >


Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >


Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >


Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?