Cray’s Gross Margins Improve and 2 Hot Stocks Sparking Chatter

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) announces its new Itanium Processor 9500 aimed at high end server CPUs. The new architecture features twice the number of cores, provide up to 2.4 times performance scaling and will be 33% faster in I/O speed compared to the previous generation. This should be good news for HP’s Business Critical Systems Unit, whose servers run on Itanium CPUs, and must continue to be supported by Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), in terms of a legal judgement.

Cray (NASDAQ:CRAY) reports third quarter EPS of -$0.14 and revenue of $35.7 million which beat by $0.2 and $5.7 million respectively. Gross margins improved by 700 bps Q-on-Q, and were 48% of sales. The company proposes to acquire supercomputer manufacturer and rival Appro in a $25 million cash deal.

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Canadian home improvement giant Rona announced that its longtime chief executive, Robert Dutton was stepping down, with CFO Dominique Boies taking over as acting CEO. US retailer Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) may view the development as significant, considering it had to shelve its C$1.8 billion bid for Rona due to opposition by company management and politicians. However, its spokeswoman confirmed that there had been no further discussions with Rona after the withdrawal of its proposal.

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