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NEWS IN BRIEF

26 May 04. Brazilian Defense Minister Jose Viegas said on Wednesday he expects the country to go ahead with the planned purchase of new fighter jets, denying speculation it could be put off. There has been talk by the bidders in the tender, worth more than $700m, that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva could put the purchase on ice because of spending constraints and pressures for funding on social projects. (Source: Reuters)

21 May 04. Invensys’s shares fell 7.6 per cent yesterday after the engineering group took a cautious line over trading in the next few months and announced a £368m pre-tax loss for its latest financial year. The deficit for the year to March 31 compared with a loss of £1.33bn last time and was struck on sales of £3.89bn (£5.02bn), the lower figure reflecting a programme of disposals. Excluding interest, goodwill and restructuring costs, and counting only continuing operations, Invensys made a profit for the year of £204m (£154m). Operating margins rose from 5.5 to 7 per cent.

14 May 04. Dell Computer reported a 21 per cent rise in revenues and said corporate PC buying was at its strongest level in more than three years. But rising component costs, such as in memory chips, put pressure on gross margins in the last few weeks of the quarter and took out about 1 cent per share in earnings. The company met Wall Street estimates but it fell 3 per cent in after hours trading to $34.85 as some investors expected it to exceed financial targets. Dell said its printer business had become its fastest ever growing group and it had captured more than 10 per cent of the ink jet printer market. (Source: FT)

17 May 04. Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE: CSC) reported results for its fiscal 2004 fourth quarter, ended April 2, 2004. Revenue was $4.0bn, up 30% over the fourth quarter a year ago. Net earnings per share (diluted) were $1.01. CSC’s revenue derived from U.S. federal government activities was up 65%, benefiting from the March 7, 2003, DynCorp acquisition. Adding to the quarter’s revenue growth was the strength of CSC’s global commercial outsourcing activities, enabled by achievement of record announced awards during fiscal 2004. Favorable currency exchange rate movements also contributed to growth in year-over-year global commercial revenue.

24 May 04. Cisco Systems unveiled an overhaul of its core software in one of the most strategically important technology pushes the internet equipment company has made in years. The new generation of software marks the first complete redesign that Cisco has undertaken of the IOS operating system that powers its routers. (Source: FT)

26 May 04. The US and Russia will sign a bilateral initiative as early as this week to retrieve highly enriched uranium from unsecured research facilities. The programme, which has in the past targeted facilities in countries such as Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Libya, should fill “major gaps” in the fight against proliferation of nuclear materials. In Vienna, Mr Abraham hopes to heighten awareness among non-nuclear weapons states about the safety of nuclear material in their research laboratories.

25 May 04. The UK MoD and the maker of the Eurofighter Typhoon have dismissed claims in a leaked classified evaluation report that the combat aircraft is unsafe. Safety concerns about the aircraft, which is due to form the backbone of the Royal Air Force’s fleet for years to come, were highlighted in a recent report from Qinetiq, the partly privatised defence research establishment that carries out an independent evaluation of all significant weapons systems for the MoD. The report identified two problems in the two-seater training version, which is being used to train the pilots of the four European Eurofighter partner countries – Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.The report found that corrupt software in a programme, which is meant to keep the inherently unstable aircraft under control, could cause it to crash; while the freq

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