Business in brief: Intel reports booming profits
Santa Clara, Calif. – Intel Corp. said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit blew past expectations, confirming a rebound in the recession-battered personal computer market is under way.
Intel’s bright profit outlook for 2010 means the No. 1 maker of computer microprocessors sees a lasting recovery past the stellar fourth quarter – not an isolated holiday shopping blip.
PC shipments grew more sharply than expected in the fourth quarter, a promising sign after a brutal year for the industry during the recession. Intel, which supplies the vast majority of the “brains” inside computers, rode the resurgence of consumer PC shopping to a profit of $2.3 billion, or 40 cents per share.
That was more than nine times as much as it earned in the year-ago quarter, when profit totaled $234 million, or 4 cents per share.
Sales climbed 29 percent to $10.6 billion, as Intel sold more chips, many at higher prices than in the past.
Mortgage rates down slightly
Washington – Rates for 30-year home loans edged lower for the second straight week, a report said Thursday, but remained above last month’s record lows.
The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.06 percent this week, down from 5.09 percent a week earlier, mortgage company Freddie Mac said.
Rates dropped to a record low of 4.71 percent in early December, pushed down by an aggressive government campaign to reduce consumers’ borrowing costs, but then rose steadily for the rest of the month.
The average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.45 percent, down from 4.50 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac.
Geithner plans House testimony
Washington – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is set to testify before a House committee probing his role in deals that sent billions of bailout dollars to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other big banks.
Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., said in a statement Thursday that Geithner will appear at a Jan. 27 hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Affairs.
Towns, the committee’s chairman, said last week that he wanted Geithner to testify about the bailout of American International Group Inc. that Geithner oversaw as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Geithner approved the decision to send billions of dollars from AIG’s bailout to banks including Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale to cancel their financial contracts with AIG.