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Intel criticised over Q4 results

Analysts claim results affected by discretionary factors

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A report from online financial wire TheStreet has suggested that Intel used "discretionary accounting" practices to produce outstanding Q4 financial results last week. According to financial analysts at both Merrill Lynch and SG Cowen, investment income generated during the quarter was higher than expected, while amortisation from acquisitions it made during the quarter also contributed to the figures. The report said that Intel included sales of equities and accumulation of interest in its operating income figure of $508 million. According to one of the analysts, Intel had forecast that figure would be closer to $200 million. However, the way that Intel's financial figures are calculated are entirely acceptable, the company said this morning. An Intel representative said: "Our earnings results are presented according to generally accepted accounting principles." Intel (INTC) is considered a so-called bellwether stock on Wall Street. Its figures, reported last week, caused other technology shares to soar, along with its own, which closed at close to over $103 last Friday. It is also a very liquid company, with a low amount of debt and a treasure chest full of cash and other investments. ® TheStreet article See also Investor snaps up eight million AMD shares

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