NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Lexmark International (LXK) are gaining by 3.23% to $33.56 following a report suggesting the computer hardware company may be acquired by Apex Technologies, a Chinese company that manufactures ink cartridge chips.

Apex Technology is said to be in negotiations to buy Lexmark. However Lexmark, which has been exploring its options, wants assurance that Apex can close the deal, sources told Reuters.

Apex is said to already be working with a U.S. investment bank and has the backing of some Chinese banks, but the sources warned Reuters that this doesn't necessarily mean a deal between the two companies will emerge.

Lexmark announced back in October that was looking into its strategic alternatives, which included a sale, the company is also considering selling its software and hardware assets separately, Reuters added.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings has set a "hold" rating and a score of C on Lexmark International stock. The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, TheStreet Ratings also finds weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: LXK

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