Buyout rumors swirled around Dell (DELL) this week. Citing two people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg reported on Monday that the No. 3 PC maker is in buyout talks with private equity firms. One of the unidentified sources said Dell is in discussions with at least two firms.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported that talks to take Dell private are at an advanced stage. Citing two unnamed sources, Reuters reported that at least four major banks have been lined up to provide financing, with buyout specialist Silver Lake Partners leading the deal.
Dell has not yet responded to TheStreet's request for comment on this story.
Dell shares gained 18% during the week to close Friday at $12.84.
No. 1 PC maker HP (HPQ) was another tech heavyweight in the spotlight. HP's shares spiked Wednesday after The Wall Street Journal reported that potential purchasers are evaluating the company's Autonomy and EDS units. A representative for HP told TheStreet that the company doesn't comment on speculation. There have been plenty of rumors, though, about HP carving off parts of its business. In a recent regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, HP said it will "continue to evaluate the potential disposition of assets and businesses that may no longer help us meet our objectives." HP shares ended the week up 5.9% at $17.11.
Tech earnings season kicked off with fourth-quarter results from Intel (INTC) on Thursday. The No. 1 chipmaker beat Wall Street's estimates, but offered weaker-than-expected guidance. For the first quarter, Intel predicts revenue of $12.7 billion, plus or minus $500 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected $12.9 billion in sales and earnings of 39 cents a share. For the full year, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based firm expects a low single-digit percentage increase in revenue. Intel's guidance weighed on the company's shares, which ended the week down 3.2% at $21.25.
eBay (EBAY) beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter estimates on Wednesday, boosted by mobile and Marketplaces growth. For the first quarter, eBay forecast revenue of between $3.65 billion and $3.75 billion, compared to analysts' prediction of $3.795 billion. Excluding items, the auction site expects earnings between 60 cents and 62 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of 63 cents a share. eBay shares ended the week up about 1.0% at $54.21.
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