What tech industry CEOs are saying about the economy

Executives from Apple, AT&T, IBM and other tech companies comment on current and future market conditions

What tech industry CEOs are saying about the economy

Until September, the U.S. tech industry appeared insulated from the year-long economic slowdown. Most of the 20 largest U.S. tech firms reported solid second quarter earnings in July and August, and they were projecting continued growth in sales through the end of the year. Then Wall Street crashed . Here's the latest word from tech executives about the current market conditions and the outlook for the rest of this year.

Microsoft expects to keep growing

Thanks to solid enterprise software and Xbox 360 sales, Microsoft posted record revenue of more than $15 billion for the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2008, a 9% increase over the same period of the prior year. Net income was $4.4 billion, compared to $4.3 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Microsoft executives said they saw a slowdown in sales in September and October, and CFO Chris Liddell noted on October 23, 2008 that Microsoft would adjust downward its guidance for the second fiscal quarter of 2009.

AT&T predicts stability

Wireless subscriber and IP data are driving sales for AT&T, which posted third-quarter revenues of $31.3 billion, up 4% from the year-earlier quarter. Net income was $3.2 billion, up from $3.1 billion a year ago.

Apple remains optimistic

Driven by iPhone 3G sales, Apple reported revenues of $7.9 billion for the quarter ended September 27, up 27% over the same quarter last year. New iPhones, Macbooks and iPods are expected to remain popular.

Sun warns of lower earnings

Sun reported preliminary third quarter results , indicating a 5% to 8% decline in revenues over the same period a year ago. Sun will release details on October 30.

TI predicts weak orders

Texas Instruments announced third-quarter revenue of $3.4 billion, down from $3.7 billion a year ago. TI's income dropped 26% to $563 million over the same period. Revenue was down for all but analog and embedded processors.

IBM projects continued growth

Emerging markets and IT services drove IBM's solid performance in its third quarter , in which revenues were $25.3 billion, up 5% over the same quarter in 2007. The company's net income was $2.8 billion, up 20%.

Google keeps long-term focus

Google reported revenues of $5.5 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2008, an increase of 31% compared to the third quarter of 2007. Net income was $1.3 billion, compared to $1 billion a year ago.

Intel questions future demand

Intel reported third-quarter revenues of $10.2 billion, up 1% from the same period a year ago. Net income was up 12% to $2 billion for the same period. But despite record Q3 revenue, Intel says the economic downturn makes predictions difficult.

Verizon anticipates future growth

On October 27, Verizon reported a strong third quarter, including total operating revenues of $24.8 billion, up 4% from the third quarter 2007. Net income was $1.7 billion, up 31% from the same period a year ago.

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