Tech Weekly: Groupon Gets Set for IPO

CHICAGO ( TheStreet) -- Groupon, the Chicago daily deals site that has seen rapid growth and a increasing valuation over the past year, was one of tech's biggest headliners this week, filing its IPO paperwork late on Thursday afternoon.

The IPO, expected to raise as much as $750 million, comes less than a month after LinkedIn ( LNKD) made its spectacular Street debut.

According to its filing, Groupon posted a massive net loss of $420.3 million last year on $713.3 million in sales, largely because of a huge hiring spree. In less than two years, the company has grown to 7,107 employees from 37.

Groupon, which famously rejected Google's ( GOOG) $6 billion takeover offer last year, will trade under the ticker symbol "GRPN." The company, however, has not yet specified an exchange.

Intel ( INTC), in the face of stiff competition from Apple's ( AAPL) iPad, announced that it is putting its faith in a new breed of light, super-skinny laptops, dubbed Ultrabooks, this week.

Intel outlined its plans to build low-power chips for Ultrabooks at the Computex show in Taiwan on Monday, boldly predicting that the devices will account for 40% of the consumer laptop market by the end of 2012.

The tech bellwether says that Ultrabooks will combine notebook and tablet features within a "thin, elegant" form factor that's less than 20 millimeters (0.8 inch) thick.

Based on the second generation of its Core processors, Intel says that the first of the ultra-thin notebooks will be available in time for the 2011 holiday season. These will include Asus' UX21 Ultrabook, which was showcased at Computex.

Intel's stock closed down 35 cents, or 1.61%, at $21.73 on Friday.

HP ( HPQ) CEO Leo Apotheker said on Wednesday that the tech giant won't release its TouchPad until the device is absolutely perfect, as the number one PC maker looks to avoid the problems that recently blighted Research In Motion's ( RIMM) Playbook.

Apotheker was quizzed about the forthcoming TouchPad in light of RIM's recent recall of 1,000 Playbooks during a Q and A session at All Things Digital's D9 conference.

"The one lesson I have learned from this, and I'm driving my engineers crazy with this, is that we will not release a product that isn't perfect," Apotheker said, according to a live blog of the event.

HP's Web site says that the TouchPad will be available sometime this summer.

Shares of HP ended the week down 31 cents, or 0.86%, at $36.11.

Nokia's ( NOK) problems continued this week, with the Finnish phone maker cutting its second-quarter sales forecast on Tuesday because of weak demand.

The company said that its revenue and margins could be substantially below targets and that its bottom line could slip close to a loss for the June quarter. Nokia also said it will no longer provide any financial targets this year.

The news sent Nokia shares plummeting and prompted Microsoft ( MSFT) takeover rumors, which the Finnish outfit described as 'baseless'.

Shares of Nokia closed up 9 cents, or 1.37%, at $6.66 on Friday.

All eyes will be on San Francisco next week as Apple ( AAPL) kicks off its annual Worldwide Developers' Conference (WWDC). The consumer tech giant announced this week that CEO Steve Jobs, currently on medical leave from Apple, will keynote the event, which starts on Monday.

According to Apple, the company will unveil the eighth major release of Mac OS X, dubbed Lion. As widely anticipated, Apple will also take the wraps off iOS 5, the latest version of its mobile operating system, as well as iCloud, its forthcoming cloud services offering.

Apple did not reveal specific details of iCloud, although the service is expected to involve a cloud-based version of iTunes, and, potentially, a streaming media platform for devices running its iOS operating system.

Shares of Apple closed down $2.66, or 0.77%, at $343.44 on Friday.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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