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Banshee leads 3Dfx revenue surge

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3D graphics leader 3Dfx yesterday reported fourth quarter 1998 revenues of $60.7 million, up 273 per cent on the $22.2 million recorded for the same period last year. However, the increase in revenue did not translate into equally expanded profitability -- for Q4 98, 3Dfx made $2.09 million; the Q4 97 figure was a barely-lower $2.07 million. For the full year, the company made $21.7 million, well up on the $1.7 million loss it posted last year. Revenue for fiscal 98 totalled $202.6 million, up from last year's $44.1 million. Observers put 3Dfx's success down the launch of the company's 2D/3D graphics acceleration combo, Voodoo Banshee, which was licensed to a wide range of OEMs. However, the future looks less certain. The company's next major release, the Voodoo 3 3D games accelerator, is looking weak compared to rival products, at least as far as the most recently published specs. Are concerned. At the same time, 3Dfx managed to alienate many of its OEMs by buying graphics card manufacturer STB in a $141 million stock-swap. That effectively sets 3Dfx up as a direct competitor to most of the companies it has been selling chip-sets to. The STB deal is due to be completed in March. ® See also 3Dfx buys STB for $141 million ATI reports record Q1 sales, profits S3's Q4, fiscal 98 losses widen nVidia IPO a success

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