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Fri., Jan. 14, 2011

Delta shopping for hundreds of jets to replace aging fleet

Delta Air Lines Inc. is considering an order for as many as 200 jets – possibly with options for 200 more – to replace the aging fleet it uses for domestic flying.

Delta said it asked “several major aircraft manufacturers” for proposals for firm orders for 100 to 200 planes, with options for 200 more, with deliveries to begin in early 2013.

The new planes would replace Delta workhorses such as the DC-9-50s and Airbus A320s that it got when it bought Northwest Airlines in 2008, as well as Boeing 757-200s, which both airlines have operated.

CEO Richard Anderson said Delta is looking for small, medium, and large planes in the “narrowbody” category, meaning planes with a single aisle for passengers.

Boeing Co. and Airbus, a unit of EADS, are the main manufacturers who could meet such an order, although Chinese and Brazilian manufacturers also plan new planes of the size Delta is looking for.

Associated Press

AT&T shifts losses to past

NEW YORK – Phone company AT&T Inc. on Thursday said it’s changing its accounting in a way that effectively puts $17 billion in losses that it would have to recognize in the future into the past.

Like other companies, AT&T has been checking once a year on the funding of its plans that cover pensions and other post-retirement benefits, like health care. When there’s been a shortfall of funds compared to expected future payouts, it has spread out the resulting charges over a decade or more years, smoothing out the effect of fluctuating interest rates and values of plan assets.

Starting with the results for the latest quarter, the phone company will instead recognize charges due to changes in interest rates and asset values once a year, in the fourth quarter.

That will result in a pretax charge $2.7 billion for last year’s fourth quarter, for which AT&T is due to report results on Jan. 27.

Associated Press

Server chip sales boost Intel

SAN FRANCISCO – Sales of server chips saved Intel Corp.’s fourth quarter, as net income jumped 48 percent mainly on strong demand from corporations. Yet the sour economy and the rise of smaller and sleeker gadgets such as the iPad have hurt consumers’ appetite for new PCs, depressing that part of Intel’s business.

Its numbers topped Wall Street’s forecasts, sending shares up 2 percent in extended trading Thursday and setting a strong tone for other technology companies set to report quarterly results.

Intel’s results come at a time of soul searching for the PC industry.

The PC market has ballooned to its biggest size ever, with more than 1 million PCs being sold every day – a stat frequently cited by Intel CEO Paul Otellini. But the industry is in crisis as smartphones and tablets compete for consumer dollars, forcing old-guard companies such as Intel to shift gears.

Although Intel’s results were strong compared with the previous year, revenue in each of its major divisions, except for server chips, was flat from the third quarter.

Associated Press


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