The R&D World Index (RDWI) for the week ending February 3, 2023, closed at 2,477.83 for the 25 companies in the RDWI. The Index was up 1.53% (or 37.32 basis points) from the week ending January 27, 2023. Fifteen of the 25 RDWI members gained value during the past week from 0.04% (Honda) to 22.93% (Facebook/Meta Platform). Ten of the 25 RDWI members lost value last week from -0.30% (Ford Motor) to -5.09% (Sanofi SA).
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), Washington, D.C., last week cut its medium-term growth forecast for China to 3.8% from its October projection of 4.6%. Official Chinese data earlier put China’s 2022 growth at 3.0%, one of its slowest rates in decades. The IMF’s 2023 data reflects the combination of a shrinking population and declining growth in productivity.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Santa Clara, California, last week reported a 98% decline in net income for the fourth quarter from 4Q 2021 as operating expenses more than doubled and sales linked to its PC clients were cut in half. These results mirror those seen at Intel as device makers experience a worldwide slump in PC sales that’s now expected to last well into 2024. RDW Index member Meta Platforms (Facebook), Menlo Park, California, said last week that it was cutting its planned capital expenditures in 2023 by 11%, citing “updated plans for lower data center construction spend.”
A study by the Wall Street Journal revealed last week that China’s top nuclear weapon’s research institute bought sophisticated U.S. computer chips at least a dozen times in the past 2.5 years circumventing decades-old U.S. export restrictions meant to curb such sales. The study found that China’s Academy of Engineering Physics obtained semiconductors made by Intel and Nvidia Corp. since 2020 despite their placement on the U.S. export blacklist in 1997. The chips were acquired from resellers in China, many were procured as components for computing systems, with many bought by China’s Institute for studying computational fluid dynamics.
A federal appeals court in Philadelphia rejected RDW Index member Johnson & Johnson’s, New Brunswick, New Jersey, use of Chapter 11 bankruptcy to freeze roughly 40,000 lawsuits linking its talc products to cancer, thereby blunting its strategy to bypass jury trials. J&J is now exposed once again to talc-related cancer claims that have cost the company’s consumer business about $4.5 billion in recent years and are expected to continue for decades.
Mercury Systems, Andover, Massachusetts, a top manufacturer of microchips used in U.S. military systems, announced last week that it is up for sale. The sale could bring about $3.5 billion, according to analysts. Companies have redesigned their missile weapon systems to already use different chips. There is a shortage of semiconductor devices in military applications that could take as long as two years to fulfill. Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and the U.S. Navy account for about half of Mercury’s sales over the past year.
The Biden administration last week recommended moving forward with a scaled-down version of ConocoPhillips, Houston, multibillion-dollar Willow oil drilling project in the Alaskan Arctic, but the U.S. Department of the Interior raised concerns about the project, signaling more hurdles need to be overcome. The DOI’s Bureau of Land Management issued a final supplemental environmental impact statement last week that recommended shrinking the project to three drilling sites down from the five ConocoPhillips initially proposed.
Royal Philips NV, Amsterdam, said last week that it would cut an extra 6,000 jobs by 2025, including 3,000 in 2023. as part of a reorganization aimed at improving its performance. The Dutch health-tech company said that a simplified operating model would help make it more agile and competitive while reducing costs. These job cuts are in addition to 4,000 positions it said in October 2022 that it would eliminate. Philips invested about $1.5 billion in R&D in 2022.
Airbus, Leiden, Netherlands, announced last week that it had launched two R&D projects which are funded by the European Defense Fund (EDF). The two projects — The European Defense Operational Collaborative Cloud (EDOCC) and the EU Next Generation Rotorcraft Technologies Project (ENGRT) will research and develop strategies to strengthen the autonomy of the EU and to bolster partnerships between member states. The Defense and Space team at Airbus is leading EDOCC. This project will create a virtual platform to test the interoperability and resiliency of military operations.
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Space Force are teaming up to share information resources and identify opportunities for applied research and advanced technology development. A memorandum of understanding issued last week will expand Space Force access to USCG R&D center facilities, infrastructure, and personnel.
Lam Research, Fremont, California, announced last week that it will cut its workforce by about 7%, while increasing the portion of its budget that it invests in R&D. The company said that its 2023 R&D investment will increase compared to what it invested in 2022.
R&D World’s R&D Index is a weekly stock market summary of the top international companies involved in R&D. The top 25 industrial R&D spenders in 2020 were selected based on the latest listings from Schonfeld & Associates’ June 2020 R&D Ratios &Budgets. These 25 companies include pharmaceutical (10 companies), automotive (6 companies), and ICT (9 companies) which invested a cumulative total of nearly 260 billion dollars in R&D in 2019, or approximately 10% of all the R&D spending in the world by government, industries, and academia combined, according to R&D World’s 2021 Global R&D Funding Forecast. The stock prices used in the R&D World Index are tabulated from NASDAQ, NYSE, and OTC common stock prices for the companies selected at the close of stock trading business on the Friday preceding the online publication of the R&D World Index