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Microsoft Readies New Xbox: Tech Winners & Losers

(Updates from 1:50 p.m. ET with closing information.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) shares were rising 2.12% to $31.25 on Wednesday as the company announced it would be unveiling a new generation of Xbox next month.

The company sent out press invites to its Redmond, Wash., Xbox campus for "a special unveiling." Company spokesman Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb posted on his blog that Microsoft would be announcing something big at the event.

"On Tuesday May 21st, we'll mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment," Hryb wrote on the blog.

Recent rumors have suggested that the new Xbox could be online-only, requiring an always-on status to play games.

Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) shares ticked up 0.28% to $269.94 on news reports the online retailing giant would announce its own set-top box, competing with the likes of Roku, Apple, and others in an increasingly crowded market.

Speaking to sources familiar with the project, Businessweek has learned that Amazon is going to announce the device this fall, allowing users to stream video over the Internet, putting Amazon's video library in front of them.

It's not yet known whether Amazon will allow competitors such as Netflix (NFLX), Hulu and other services on the box, or if it will keep the box solely for Amazon's Prime video services.

Apple (AAPL - Get Report) shares fell 0.09% to $405.75 after the company posted second-quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates but gave guidance that was sharply lower than forecast.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple reported second-quarter results that met analyst expectations, earning $10.09 per share on $43.6 billion in revenue as iPad sales rose 65% year over year to 19.5 million units per year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the tech giant to earn $10.01 per share on $42.31 billion in revenue.

Apple: Everything You Didn't Want to Believe May Be True

For the fiscal third quarter, Apple expects revenue will be between $33.5 billion and $35.5 billion, with gross margins between 36% and 37%. Analysts were expecting $38.2 billion in sales for the third quarter.

In conjunction with the earnings beat, Apple raised its buyback program and dividend sharply, announcing it would return $100 billion to shareholders over the next three years, adding $50 billion to its repurchase program, the largest for any company in history.
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