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Apple Agitated, Dell Deal Done: Tech Weekly

Dell (DELL), whose CEO Michael Dell once famously said that Apple should shut down its business and return the cash to shareholders, has done almost that. After a period of intense rumor and speculation, the No.3 PC maker has decided to go private.

A team led by Dell himself, along with Silver Lake Partners, is acquiring the company in a $24.4 billion deal. Under the terms of the transaction, shareholders will be paid $13.65 per share in cash, a premium of 25% to the company's closing price on Jan. 11, when rumors of the deal emerged.

The deal is being financed through a combination of cash and equity from Michael Dell, cash from investment funds affiliated with Silver Lake, cash invested by Michael Dell's investment firm, MSD Capital, and a $2 billion loan from Microsoft (MSFT). Dell will also roll over existing debt, and receive new debt financing from a consortium of banks.

Dell Dude, You're Getting a Joke of a Premium

A number of Dell shareholders are unhappy with the low offer price, including Dell's largest independent shareholder, Southeastern Asset Management. The fund says that Dell's worth $24 a share, a price far higher than the one currently being offered. Dell has a 45 day "go-shop period," in which it will solicit outside bids, but none are expected to materialize.

TheStreet ran a poll, with 87% of respondents described the premium as a "joke."

Shares of Dell closed the week flat at $13.63.


Earnings were also at the forefront this week, with names such as LinkedIn (LNKD), Yelp (YELP) and Zynga (ZNGA) reporting results.

LinkedIn saw fourth-quarter revenue jump 81% year-over-year, coming in at $303.6 million. That allowed LinkedIn to earn 35 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for 19 cents a share on $279.52 million in sales. Revenue growth was aided by Talent Solutions revenue, which totaled $161 million, up 90% year-over-year. Talent Solutions revenue made up 53% of this quarter's sales.

Mountain View, Calif.-based LinkedIn also surpassed the 200 million member milestone, ending the year with approximately 202 million members, up 39% year-over-year.

LinkedIn provided first-quarter guidance that blew past Wall Street estimates. It expects revenue between $305 million and $310 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting $301.3 million in revenue. For the full year, LinkedIn expects sales between $1.41 billion and $1.44 billion. Wall Street analysts expect $1.439 billion.

Shares of LinkedIn soared this week, tacking on 21.53% to finish at $150.48.


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