The following is excerpted from IRG's weekly stock report:
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• NTT said its revenues for the first half of its current fiscal year ending March 2009 slipped to 5.2 trillion yen ($53.1 billion) from 5.2 trillion yen ($53 billion). Revenues from its fixed-line telephone services continued to shrink and revenues at its mobile unit NTT DoCoMo (NYSE:DCM) dropped slightly as a result of reduced call charges. Its operating profit in the April-September period however,
increased by 32.1% year-on-year to 745.1 billion yen ($7.6 billion), boosted by a 41.2% jump in DoCoMo's operating profit. Net profit for the half year improved to 406.3 billion yen ($4.1 billion) from 192.9 billion yen ($2 billion) a year earlier. The group also would lift its planned capital expenditure for the current fiscal year by 1.4% to 2.2 trillion yen ($22 billion), allotting extra funds for unit NTT Urban Development Corp to snap up valuable properties amid a slump in real-estate prices.
• Domestic shipments of personal computers grew 7.8% to an all-time high of 6.38 million units in the April-September period as consumers flocked to small, low-cost notebooks. But excluding mini notebooks, which are priced in the 50,000 yen ($509) range, the rise in shipments came to 1.4%. Overall, shipments slid 4.1% to 680 billion yen ($7 billion) in value terms, reflecting
price declines. Consumer-use computers jumped 15.6% to 2.93 million units, while PCs for corporate users rose just 2% to 3.44 million. Although expectations had been high that businesses would replace their machines with new ones in fiscal 2008, many started curbing capital spending in the July-
September quarter. In market share, the top seven manufacturers stayed in the same spots. Emerging in eighth place and ninth place were Acer Inc. and AsusTek Computer Inc. (OTC:AKCPF), which offer small notebooks and made the top 10 for the first time.
• Elpida Memory Inc (OTC:ELPDF). reported a sharp first-half fall into the red on the prolonged slump in chip prices, and it cut its capital spending forecast for the year to March. Elpida tumbled to an operating loss of 40.1 billion yen ($410 million) in the six months ended Sept. 30, from an operating profit of 9.9 billion yen ($100.8 million) the previous year. Elpida, which does not give full-year earnings forecasts, expects its capital spending to total between 90 and 95 billion yen in the year to March, down from an August forecast of 100 billion. The company, created out of the former DRAM arms of Hitachi Ltd., NEC Corp. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp., is expected to post an operating loss of 55.9 billion yen ($567 million) this business year.