Table On-Topic Summary - 29-Oct-2002
A compilation of this board's financial/economic posts From 44180 to 44215

Post  44180  by  maniati       OT: Tin: Your problem is that you think your comme

Post  44181  by  pmcw       Reply
Wednesday will prove to be interesting - particularly for XICO investors. In the morning XICO will present at the Pru conference. Rumor is that, with reason, Lou will be much more upbeat than during the Q3 report two weeks prior.

Later Wednesday, UMC will hold its Q3 investor conference. Again, rumor is they will report that they forecast a very strong (above expectations) Q4. This could be partly due to Via and SIS both launching new chips in Q4 or from a variety of other companies ramping production.

Regards, pmcw

Post  44182  by  Decomposed       OT: Table ON TOPIC SUMMARY Oct 28, 2002

Post  44183  by  pmcw       Reply
PALM Still doesn't get it!

The lead to the story sounds good, but once you read the text you'll see this is just another Benhamou (failure).

"Facing a mounting challenge from vendors whose handheld devices use Microsoft's Pocket PC platform, Palm Inc. on Monday defended its market-leading position with new products, strategies, and partnerships that will place the company's emphasis more on providing wireless communication devices and less on PDAs."

Read on and you'll learn that wireless means Bluetooth???? Huh???? Then there's more good news - A PDA phone with services only from AT&T Wireless, SingTel, or Vodaphone and not even available until next year??? Try connecting with Bluetooth at a Starbucks, airport, hotel, etc with Bluetooth. Why no PCS, no VZ, etc.?

These mistakes are so obvious I wrote about them in 1999 suggesting at company wide 802.11 initiative, a PDA phone via parallel expansion slot (like the HAND Springboard before HAND was launched), a slightly stronger LED (IR emmitter) so the PALM could be used as a universal IR remote control, software to scan groceries and develop a grocery list, etc.

Benhamou has essentially taken an O/S that was positioned to be the Windows of the hand held world and turned it into a company that can't even make a profit. Maybe this is why PALM's market share growth is single digits and SNE's was 380% at the last report. Even HPQ grew their US market share by 27% and DELL has yet to enter the market. Bottom Line: Backhand PALM unless they get new leadership (new Chairman and CEO). At best, all they'll do is take the profit out of the market for all involved and be a future case study for business schools on failure.

Regards, pmcw

Post  44184  by  Decomposed       Reply

re: "The lead to the story sounds good..."

What story? Did you mean to include a link, or was your post a continuation of an earlier discussion (that I somehow missed)?

Post  44185  by  pmcw       Reply
Decomp, The rest of the story. ;o)

Vendor unveils new products and strategies to combat the challenge from Pocket PC handhelds.
By Larry Greenemeier

Facing a mounting challenge from vendors whose handheld devices use Microsoft's Pocket PC platform, Palm Inc. on Monday defended its market-leading position with new products, strategies, and partnerships that will place the company's emphasis more on providing wireless communication devices and less on PDAs. To do this, Palm introduced two handhelds in its Tungsten line -- one with greater processing power and the other with a built-in keyboard and antenna for wireless communications.
Palm's Tungsten T, available now for $499, is aimed at mobile professionals. It features a 320-by-320 color display, integrated Bluetooth wireless communication compatibility, voice recording capabilities, Palm OS 5, and Texas Instruments' OMAP1510 processor. The Texas Instruments processor gives the Tungsten T the processing power to run applications that feature video clips, digital audio files, and interactive games. It also includes 14 Mbytes of storage.

Palm's Tungsten W, which won't be available until the first quarter of next year, is the company's first handheld to include both a color display screen and a built-in keyboard. With wireless services from AT&T Wireless, SingTel, or Vodaphone, the Tungsten W can be used like a wireless phone to access E-mail, SMS messaging, business apps, and Palm personal information management software. The Tungsten W will run on Palm OS 4.1.1 and a Motorola Dragonball VZ 33-MHz processor and feature a Class 10 GSM general packet radio service antenna.

All of this technology means Palm will provide a "relevant platform for business professionals to continuously access information," says Andre Dahan, president of AT&T Wireless Mobile Multimedia Services.

The Tungsten devices put Palm in a better position to compete with Pocket PC devices from an applications perspective, says Phillip Redman, a research director with Gartner. "It's a tough marketplace to be in because people want a one-device offering" that does voice and data, he says, adding that users will always need a phone, so it's the data device that has to conform.

Palm continues to dominate the United States and worldwide markets for PDAs, with twice the market share of its closest competitors: Hewlett-Packard and Sony. Palm captured 31% of the worldwide and 40% of the U.S. PDA market during the third quarter of 2002, according to a Gartner Dataquest study released Monday. But while Palm's market share growth lingers in the single digits, Sony grew 380% in the United States and 280% worldwide. HP grew 27% in the United States and 20% worldwide. Gartner Dataquest predicts that more-competitive pricing from Pocket PC vendors and the entrance of Dell and Toshiba into the PDA market will provide additional challenges for Palm.

Post  44186  by  danking_70       OT: Is this the new Anti-War movement?

Post  44187  by  kduff       Reply
Decomposed, I wouldn't be surprised if "other" is primarily emachines. They sell a complete system with monitor, printer, speakers, etc. for about 400.00. I actually own one, and consider it to be disposable. I have had good luck with it over the past few years and would probably buy another one. Many people only want a computer for web surfing and e-mailing and don't need all the bells and whistles, emachines fills that need. Where else can you upgrade every few years for 400 bucks. I do remember during a conversation with tech support one day, he told me they were #2 or 3 in shipments, I can't remember, I was just very surprised. The real surprise about this company is the quality of support. They sent me a new computer and upgraded it to a higher mhz when the cd-rom stopped working after only a few months.
btw, thanks for organizing the competition. Although, I'm doing lousy, it is a good learning lesson. I also don't have much time on my hands these days.

Post  44188  by  pacemakernj       OT: Dan, that is some truly shocking material. I w

Post  44189  by  oldCADuser       Reply
There are also many companies that manufacture specialized computer systems for use in business and industry. For example, at work I use a "portable workstation" (NOT a laptop) made by a company called MaxVision (link below). Granted, while they are not a high volume manufacturer they do fill a niche which can command a premium price (their portable MaxPac models start at just under $5,000).

For information on MaxVision and their line of "Portable Workstations" and other specialized systems, go to:


Post  44190  by  Decomposed       Reply

I didn't think about emachines, but you may well be right.

BTW... $400? Wally Mart has a system for $199, and a real speed demon :b for $228. But to be fair, you'd need to buy a low-end monitor and printer. That might run you another $120.

Glad you're enjoying the competition. I was off to a bad start, had a good "middle", and am practically back to where I began now! But remember: None of this matters. January 31st is the only date that counts.

pmcw has made a great move, btw. As of last night, he had captured the lead.

Post  44191  by  tinljhtkh       OT: maniati!

Post  44192  by  clo       Reply
Consumer confidence? An oxymoron... clo

Stocks retreated quickly after the latest read on consumer confidence saw a big drop, hitting its lowest level in almost nine years.
The Conference Board's October index of consumer confidence fell to 79.4 against a forecast of a drop to 90 from 93.3 in September.

Analysts added that the soft number will likely heighten expectations for an interest rate cut next month.
"That fact alone could act as a stabilizing force for the market," said Tony Dwyer, chief market strategist with Kirlin Securities. "The U.S. consumer has been the lynchpin of this economy. So this number doesn't bode well, especially as we enter the Christmas shopping season and retailers are already suffering because of the West Coast ports dispute."

With 25 of the 30 Dow components and about three-quarters for the S&P 500 companies having reported their quarterly results, the market focus is squarely back on the economy and the Federal Reserve meeting on interest rates next week.

Later in the week, investors will also get crucial data on the health of the nation's manufacturing sector and the October employment number. So far, October has been good for stocks, with the major indexes about 10 percent higher after stocks locked in their third consecutive weekly advance last week. If the gains hold through Halloween on Thursday, it'll be the first time all three indexes have been up for the month since March.

Post  44193  by  Decomposed       Reply
Hey, I'm reading that broadband is finally catching on! This could affect a *LOT* of tech stocks!

Comcast sees strong broadband sales

Company added nearly 170,000 cable-modem subscribers

By Peter Grant

Oct. 29 — In another signal that broadband is finally catching on with consumers, Comcast Corp. added 169,800 new cable-modem subscribers for a total of more than 1.3 million, its best quarterly growth in broadband users ever.

COMCAST, WHICH WILL become the country’s largest cable company when it completes its acquisition of AT&T Broadband later this year, said revenue at its cable division rose 12% from the third quarter of last year to $1.55 billion.

After a disappointingly slow start that staggered an expectant Internet industry salivating to serve customers with high-speed connections, broadband usage has been accelerating to the point where it is reaching critical mass. For the past 18 months, households signing up for broadband connections, mostly through cable modems or telephone digital-subscriber-line service, have more than doubled to reach 16 million, or 13% of U.S. homes.

Last week, AT&T Broadband, now the country’s largest cable company, and Insight Communications Co., the ninth largest, also reported strong cable-modem sales. AT&T added 172,000 new subscribers in the third quarter and Insight gained 21,000, its best modem growth quarter ever.

“These things are flying off the shelves,” John Alchin, Comcast’s treasurer, says.

With more than 100,000 households a week signing up, there should be 20 million homes with broadband by the end of next year. That is close to the magic number entertainment and telecommunications companies have been awaiting to begin developing content targeted at high-speed users more aggressively. Dozens of content providers are now working on programs for the high-speed user, with many of them likely to charge fees.

It comes at a time when many telecommunications companies hoping to profit from an Internet boom are either under bankruptcy protection or have such low stock valuations that their survival is in question. Scores of programming businesses that were established to provide content to broadband have long since closed their doors. Scores of competitive phone companies hoping to offer DSL services have been shuttered.

Indeed, the strength of demand for high-speed modems has surprised some industry analysts because, so far, most of the content on the Internet is limited to e-mail, text and pictures that is targeted at subscribers of low-speed dial-up services. Not a lot of content has yet been developed for the broadband user alone.

But millions of households are disconnecting second phone lines and ditching dial-up services such as AOL Time Warner Inc.’s America Online and paying $45 a month just for the convenience of always-on e-mail, surfing the Web and file sharing, such as downloading photographs. Broadband also gives them faster access to online shopping, travel sites and electronic newspapers.

Once households have high speed, they are reluctant to slow down. Cable companies report that modem subscribers disconnect much less frequently than they do for, say, digital television.

How did broadband reach the point of gaining traction?

With modems representing the cable industry’s greatest growth potential, cable companies have emerged as the principal driver of broadband expansion. After a $65 billion upgrade, cable-modem service is available to 75 million homes and cable-modem subscribers are outpacing users of digital-subscriber-line, or DSL, services by almost two-to-one. Cable is expected to end this year with 10.6 million subscribers, while DSL will have 5.1 million, according to Yankee Group. DSL is available to 60% to 70% of U.S. homes, according to a Morgan Stanley estimate.

Price is one factor in broadband adoption. Broadband only costs a few dollars a month more than the cost of most online services plus a second phone line. And cable companies are making plans to roll out tiered-broadband services — fast, faster and fastest — so they can begin lowering prices and attracting Internet users who aren’t willing to pay $45 a month. Once the price gets down to the $30 range, the cost of a cable modem will be little more than the cost of an Internet service.

Jason Bazinet, an analyst with J.P. Morgan, calls that price range “the AOL killer” because once people have given up America Online and possibly their second phone line, cable modem isn’t costing them extra. Clearly aware of this threat, America Online is developing its own brand of broadband content.

The DSL business is less robust and isn’t yet profitable, partly because it has proved to be technically more difficult to ramp up telephone wires for high-speed. But some DSL providers clearly recognize its growth potential and are exploring ways to capture market share, such as the high-speed Internet service that SBC Communications Inc. recently announced with Yahoo Inc., that offers a number of entertainment features and easier access to e-mail. One big question: Will cable programmers offer their content to DSL or give it exclusively to cable companies to help them continue winning the broadband competition?

A huge volume of high-speed content is coming, to add to the smattering of offerings already in the market. Indeed, content providers are using a business model for broadband that closely mirrors content for regular cable: The customer pays for broadband programming. Cable-TV programmers such as ESPN, CNN, Cartoon Network and numerous others are working on broadband Internet content such as clips from their newscasts or packages of sports highlights that aren’t viewed elsewhere. They see this as a way to strengthen their relationships with the cable companies. While not everyone is charging extra for this content now, they plan to in the future.

RealNetworks Inc., an Internet-content company, has signed up 850,000 subscribers, most of whom pay $9.95 a month for an assortment of games, music, sports and news clips all targeted at the broadband user. CNN, a unit of AOL Time Warner, and Walt Disney Co.’s ABC unit are both charging fees to Internet users who want to watch news videos. Major League Baseball, Nascar and other sports organizations have either launched high-speed Internet products or are planning to do so.

ESPN is talking about putting together packages of paid programming for broadband users, complete with premium channels that would give subscribers access to hundreds of hours of sports highlights.

The Cartoon Network just rolled out an online trading-card game called G-Toons. “One year ago, I don’t think we would have green lit this,” says Paul Condolora, the network’s general manager. “We think the timing is right in the evolution of broadband.”

America Online, a unit of AOL Time Warner, also is cranking up its efforts to deliver high-speed content, like video and music that subscribers can watch on their computer. America Online also has developed a new piece of software, called the AOL companion, that sits on a computer screen with always-available information like news, stock prices, the dictionary and the yellow pages.

For years, many at the country’s largest online service resisted moving in that direction, not wishing to trade the thinner margins of broadband for the fat profit margins of its dial-up subscription business. But America Online execs along with many others in the Internet industry are beginning to recognize that broadband will likely be the dominant form of Web access before the end of the decade. “In the past, some may have looked at [broadband] as if it was threatening,” says Lisa Hook, the head of America Online’s broadband division. “Actually, it’s a huge opportunity for us.”

To be sure, the big question about broadband lingers: is it possible to make money off more than the hardware? Who is going to start funding Internet projects again? Indeed, executives say they are proceeding much more cautiously this time.

“We’re right now at a point where our thought process is shifting and we’re beginning to look at this in a manner that we can cost efficiently develop and offer [broadband] content to consumers,” says Elisabeth Sami, vice president of business development for NBC. (MSNBC is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture.)

Overall, Comcast revenue grew 13% from last year to $2.7 billion thanks also to strong sales by its QVC online retail division. The company reported net income of $75.6 million, or eight cents a share, compared with a loss of $106.8 million in the third quarter of 2001.

Post  44194  by  maniati       OT: Just Say "No"

Post  44195  by  maniati       Reply
clo: Yeah, those numbers sure were bad, weren't they?! I think we have definitely headed into the "unexpected bad news" territory that I said would be required for a rate cut. And, in particular, it looks like an important reason for the low confidence numbers is jobs-related. This Friday, the latest employment data will be released, as well as the ISM manufacturing index. Those should tell us what the Fed will do.

Looks like this holiday shopping season could be a pretty bad one for retailers.

(Personally, I don't buy many gifts - I make my friends Greek pastries.)

Post  44196  by  PinzaTodd       Reply
kduff re: eMachines and 'other' PC labels

eMachines is a very minor player in the PC market. Before they "went private" about a year ago, their last quarterly statement (CY 3Q01) as a public company stated that their sales had declined to just 195K units, which was down 52% from a year earlier.

In those days, eMachines liked to say that they were the #3 seller of PCs at retail, which was true, but the truth is that retail (ie sales from big-box retail stores) is not what it used to be. Nowadays, PC makers make most of their sales from "direct" channels: the Internet, field salespeople, "small-box" stores, and even (in the case of Gateway and Apple) from their own storefronts.

For a better picture of worldwide PC sales in the last quarter (Decomposed's figures are for U.S. sales only), look here:

"Other" on both charts means "everyone else", including eMachines as well as every "white-box" or "screwdriver shop".

Buona fortuna

Post  44197  by  clo       OT: Oh Maniati! Greek pastries...

Post  44198  by  oldCADuser       Reply
Well, I guess that means...

"The Conference Board's October index of consumer confidence fell to 79.4 against a forecast of a drop to 90 from 93.3 in September."

...that everyone has finally gotten their 401k statements for the 3rd quarter.


Post  44199  by  clo       Reply
Oh oldCAD! Wait

"Well, I guess that means...

"The Conference Board's October index of consumer confidence fell to 79.4 against a forecast of a drop to 90 from 93.3 in September."

...that everyone has finally gotten their 401k statements for the 3rd quarter."

till they open them! Yikes! clo

Post  44200  by  Inspector_32       ot: Bush's approval ratings fall below Clitnon's <
Post  44201  by  pacemakernj       OT: Inspector, it's amazing they are as high as th

Post  44202  by  pmcw       Reply
Consumer Confidence Without the Spin:

Consumer Confidence Index Falls to Lowest Level Since 1993

October 29, 2002

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, which has declined for four consecutive months, deteriorated even further in October. The Index now stands at 79.4 (1985=100), down from 93.7 in September.

The Present Situation Index fell to 77.5 from 88.5, and the Expectations Index declined to 80.7 from 97.2. Consumer Confidence is now at its lowest level since November 1993, when it stood at 71.9.

The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by NFO WorldGroup, a member of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG).

"A weak labor market, the threat of military action in Iraq, and a prolonged decline in the financial markets have clearly dampened both consumers' confidence and their expectations for the near future," says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "The outlook for the holiday retail season is now fairly bleak. Without the likelihood of a pickup in consumer spending, an already weak economic recovery could weaken further."

Consumers' assessment of the present situation turned notably more negative. Those rating current business conditions as "bad" increased to 27.6 percent from 23.8 percent. Those rating current conditions as "good" decreased to 15.6 percent from 18.5 percent. Consumers reporting jobs are hard to get rose to 27.3 percent from 25.4 percent last month. Those claiming jobs are plentiful declined to 14.8 percent from 15.9 percent in September.

Consumers’ expectations for the next six months fell in October. The percent of respondents expecting a deterioration in business conditions in the next six months rose to 14.1 percent from 9.7 percent. Consumers expecting conditions to improve declined to 19.0 percent from 21.6 percent.

Consumers expecting conditions to improve declined to 19.0 percent from 21.6 percent. The employment outlook was also less favorable in October. Consumers anticipating more jobs to become available dropped to 15.0 percent from 17.3 percent, while those expecting fewer jobs in the coming months rose to 22.1 percent from 16.8 percent. Income expectations were also more pessimistic. Now, only 17.8 percent of consumers anticipate a rise in their incomes, down from 21.5 percent in September.

Post  44203  by  pmcw       Reply
Consumer Confidence - Behind the Numbers:

I was hoping to learn the exact lag in time from when the questions were asked and when the data is posted. However, I can't find that data. I think it is safe to assume that it is measured in weeks rather than hours or days. Therefore, the report today is probably indicative of confidence towards the middle to beginning of the month. Thinking back to November 1993 I don't recall any major economic failure that followed the last report of a sub-80 confidence number. Bottom Line: I think this report reflects sorry 401(k) performance, a tough job market and potentially interest rates creeping upwards as much or more as it reflects a true macro-economic picture. It ain't pretty out there, but it's not 15% worse than last month either.


The Consumer Confidence survey is conducted for The Conference Board by NFO Research, Inc., an NFO Worldwide Company (NYSE:NFO), of Greenwich, Connecticut. The questionnaires are mailed to a nationwide representative sample of 5,000 households, of which roughly 3,500 typically respond. Each month, a different panel of 5,000 households is surveyed.

Data are available bi-monthly from 1967 through mid-1977. Beginning June 1977, data are available monthly. The questions asked to compute the indexes have remained constant throughout the history of the series. The Index is based on responses to 5 questions included in the survey:

Respondents appraisal of current business conditions.
Respondents expectations regarding business conditions six months hence.
Respondents appraisal of the current employment conditions.
Respondents expectations regarding employment conditions six months hence.
Respondents expectations regarding their total family income six months hence.
For each of the 5 questions, there are three response options: POSITIVE, NEGATIVE and NEUTRAL.

The response proportions to each question are seasonally adjusted. For each of the five question (above), the POSITIVE figure is divided by the sum of the POSITIVE and NEGATIVE to yield a proportion, which we call the "RELATIVE" value. for each question, the average RELATIVE for the calendar year 1985 is then used as a benchmark to yield the INDEX value for that question. The Indexes are then averaged together as follows: Consumer Confidence Index: Average of all 5 Indexes; Present Situation Index: Average of indexes for questions 1 and 3; Expectations Index: Average of Indexes for questions 2, 4, and 5.

Post  44204  by  oldCADuser       OT: The reason...

Post  44205  by  Arkural       Reply
C.Confidence #'s-I was interested in the same data.

Something tells me........the forward looking mkt, does not focus on has been's. :) I'd gander to say-e.g., by the pros watching the bouncing ball-this data is (rather obviously) as anticipated/expected.

Imo, mkt needs more vol. on rallies. Some detect weakness, in that regard.

Post  44206  by  clo       Reply
pmcw: Consumer Confidence - Behind the Numbers:

"It ain't pretty out there, but it's not 15% worse than last month either."

You forgot the snipers & the war.
I think these are the reasons for the big change... clo

Post  44207  by  pmcw       Reply
Ark, I feel we have one more week of choppy waters. If we have a decisive election and no major geo-political problems by a week from tomorrow, I expect a rally with some legs - at least until Thanksgiving week. Then a break and more choppy waters - that is unless Republicans take both houses. If the latter is true we could see a very strong finish through the end of the year. Regards, pmcw

Post  44208  by  Arkural       Reply
pmcw-I'll go along with a sideways-chop for a week, other than that, you have my yr end outlook. Thx for yours.

Post  44209  by  Arkural       Reply
De ja vu?-Election outcome may be delayed

Post  44210  by  Arkural       Reply
Decomp/pmcw-re: Dell: Who needs a floppy disk?


Do you have any remarks regarding this device?

Post  44211  by  pmcw       Reply
clo, Right you are! I also forgot to mention one of the biggest downers of them all - the pending election and political crap that has already grown old. Leading into an election we're always reminded of our failures, but once it is done (let's hope that night) we all feel good that we can move forward and welcome beer commercials again.

My hope, not prediction, is that we'll see a good GDP report this week and Greenspan will cut rates by 0.25% next week with the excuses of bolstering the job market, helping the holiday season, supporting low home mortgage rates and saying that we are going in generally the right direction. As they say, "Vigaro makes the grass grow". Come on, I can dream, can't I? ;o) Regards, pmcw

Post  44212  by  maniati       OT: Oui, c'est deja vu encore....
Post  44213  by  moosedroppingin       OT: OT: OT: Hello CLOve

Post  44214  by  moosedroppingin       Reply
cnbc: Krud and Cram

How about that lady visitor, Jill Abramson, and how she talks! Imagine being in a meeting with this gal. LMAO

You just can't make this stuff up d!

these cnbc marketworms are like the weathermen predictors.

can you beLIEve the LIE in the LInE !

U bet

Post  44215  by  tinljhtkh       OT: Are you the