Down and out? Q4 tech results round-up

Apple, Google, Nokia, eBay, Sony and Microsoft all reported their Q4 results this week, but how did they fair and who looks like they are going to be struggling for the rest of 2009?

Apple
It seems even in a recession people want to buy Apples. Unlike many other tech companies struggling in the current climate, the company has again revealed record results. Apple posted record revenue of $10.17 billion and record net quarterly profits of $1.61 billion. In growth terms that means Apple sold 2,524,000 Macs during the quarter, a 9% growth over the year-ago quarter and sold 22,727,000 iPods - apparently a record - and 3% up from the same time last year while the quarterly iPhone sales come in at 4,363,000.

News: Apple reveals record results

Google
Google showed that the advertising search giant is still mainly unaffected by the credit crunch with revenues up by 18% over the same quarter in 2007 and up 3% up on third quarter revenues in 2008. Net Income was down 68% to $382 million compared to $1.2 billion a year ago, but only because of a write-down related to ownership stakes in AOL and Clearwire. It's not just the USA bringing in the cash either, revenues from outside of the United States totalled $2.86 billion, representing 50% of total revenues in the fourth quarter of 2008 with revenues from the United Kingdom totalling $685 million.

News: Google revenue up, but profits down

Nokia
Not a great one for Nokia with the company reporting dire financial results for the fourth quarter of 2008. Nokia's profits fell a massive 69% as the economic downturn slowed phone sales. Net profit was 576 million euros down from 1.84 billion euros in the same period in 2007. Sales fell 19.5% and Nokia's market share also took a 3% tumble to 37%.

News: Nokia profits plunge 69%

eBay
eBay's results weren't as bad as Nokia's but it still reported Q4 revenue fell 7% to $2.04 billion, apparently its first drop in sales in 10 years. The San Jose-based company's net income in the fourth quarter dropped 31% from the same time last year to $367 million while auction revenue fell 16%. December traffic to the auction site was 4% lower than at Christmas last year, says comScore. This is perhaps surprising considering that it may have been assumed credit crunched consumers would be hunting for bargains. However many commentators believe it has more to do with selling fees and feedback issues rather than the market on its own.

News: eBay results show profits down 31%

Sony
It's not yet time for Sony to release its Q4 sales, however that didn't stop the electronics giant releasing a revised results forecast for its fiscal year ending in March. Sony says it now expects sales to come in at 7.7 trillion yen (about £63 billion) around a 14% drop on its previous prediction while the company warns it will see a loss of around 150 billion yen - around £1.2 billion. On the gaming side of things, although Sony has cut its PSP sales predictions by a million, the PlayStation 3 target is the only one to be left unchanged at 10 million.

News: Sony dramatically lowers forecast

Microsoft
With Windows 7 already getting good reviews, it seems it's Vista that's causing Microsoft's sales woes. Microsoft has announced that it will slash 5000 staff from its workforce over the next 18 months as it revealed a sharp drop in profits. An 11% drop in its second quarter profit with 2008's Christmas period said to be the worst for a number of years meaning profits were down by $600 million. The layoffs are being reported as a first for Microsoft, since it was founded in 1975, apart from staff cuts made from reorganisations after company acquisitions.

News: Microsoft slashes 5000 jobs as profits down 11%