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Top chip companies took major hit in 98

A couple of them held the line, but the Far East went South. As it were...

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Only six of the top 20 semiconductor companies showed revenue growth in 1998, according to Dataquest’s preliminary rankings for the year. Intel was top dog with revenues of $22.6 billion, but even The Mighty Satan could only achieve 4.3 per cent year-on-year growth. The other winners were Philips, Siemens and STMicroelectronics, in positions 8, 9 and 10 respectively, Lucent (14) and AMD (16). Siemens actually managed to turn in the top revenue growth, of 12.4 per cent, suggesting that taking harsh decisions works, and producing revenues of $3.87 billion, neck and neck with Fujitsu, which was one of the major casualties. The worst performers, as might be expected, were largely Far Eastern. Hitachi clocked up a stonking drop of 26.2 per cent, but NatSemi came next with -19.3 per cent, followed by NEC (-19.1 per cent), Samsung (-18.9 per cent), TI (-18.4 per cent, but with a special allowance for hiving-off its DRAM business to the luckless Acer), Toshiba (-16.5 per cent) and Fujitsu (-16.4 per cent). The rankings in the top 20 overall haven’t changed significantly because of the failing fortunes of many of the players, but if the trends continue this year they could start to. Samsung for example is currently in the number 6 slot with $4.75 billion revenues, and Philips and STMicro aren’t that far behind with $4.5 billion and $4.02 billion. ®

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