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

Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz

Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz

Sun warns of lower earnings

Sun reported preliminary third-quarter results, indicating a 5 percent to 8 percent decline in revenue from the same quarter a year ago. Sun will release details on October 30.

"Sun and its customers are seeing the impact of a slowing economy. We believe we are positioned to offer the kinds of products that can radically help customers reduce expenditures for their infrastructure from Open Storage to Solaris-based Chip Multi-Threading systems to offering the most eco-efficient systems in the market," said Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun, on October 20, 2008.

TI predicts weak orders

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

"Our outlook for the fourth quarter is for revenue to decline substantially, based on weak order trends over the past few months," said Rich Templeton, Texas Instruments chairman, president and CEO, on October 20, 2008. "We will accelerate our inventory reduction in the fourth quarter. We also will continue to reduce expenses and capital spending. At the same time, we will continue to invest in opportunities to strengthen our positions in Analog and Embedded Processing."

IBM projects continued growth

Emerging markets and IT services drove IBM's solid performance in its third quarter, in which revenue was US$25.3 billion, up 5 percent from the same quarter a year ago. The company's net income was US$2.8 billion, up 20 percent.

"[Various] strengths, along with our strategy to manage for productivity in major markets and to invest for growth in emerging countries, have enabled IBM to thrive despite an economic environment that no one could have predicted. We remain confident in our full-year 2008 outlook," said Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM chairman, president and CEO, on October 16, 2008.

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Carolyn Duffy Marsan

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