RIM's Rocky Road: Tech Weekly

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Earnings results from Research In Motion ( RIMM), Red Hat ( RHT) and Best Buy ( BBY) helped shape the week in technology, to mixed results.

RIM, the embattled Canadian handset maker, reported fourth-quarter results on Thursday that missed estimates.

The beleaguered BlackBerry maker posted non-GAAP earnings of 80 cents a share on $4.2 billion in revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for a profit of 81 cents a share on revenue of $4.5 billion.

In addition to the earnings miss, former co-CEO Jim Balsillie resigned from the company's board of directors. RIM's CTO, David Yach, and Jim Rowan, COO, Global Operations are leaving the company as well.

Shares of Research In Motion closed the week higher, up 7.6% during Friday trading, to close at $14.70.

Shares of Red Hat, the provider of open source software, jumped 15.46% during the week to close at $59.89 after reporting strong fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

The software specialist earned 29 cents per share on revenue of $297 million, an increase of 21% year-over-year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of 27 cents a share on revenue of $291.22 million.

In addition to the strong earnings, the company provided solid first-quarter guidance, above Wall Street expectations. Red Hat said it expects revenue between $307 million and $311 million, above analysts' forecast of $306.2 million. Excluding items, Red Hat expects earnings between 25 cents a share and 27 cents a share. Analysts have predicted earnings of 27 cents a share.

Red Hat also announced a $300 million buyback program in conjunction with the earnings release.

Earnings results from Best Buy ( BBY) were in focus this week, with the Minnesota-based retailer missing estimates on Thursday, and announcing plans to close stores.

Best Buy said it earned $2.47 a share on revenue of $16.63 billion during its fourth quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting earnings of $2.16 a share on $17.22 billion in revenue.

In addition to the earnings miss, Best Buy unveiled a multi-year plan to save $800 million in expenses, including closing 50 U.S. big-box stores in fiscal 2013. The cost reduction plan will take place by fiscal 2015. It also announced plans to boost its performance, such as the opening of 100 mobile small format stand-alone stores in the U.S. during fiscal 2013.

Shares of Best Buy slipped 13.92% during the week to close at $23.68 on Friday.

Daily deals site Groupon ( GRPN) revised its fourth-quarter results lower after market close on Friday, but re-affirmed its first-quarter guidance.

The Chicago-based company lowered its fourth-quarter revenue by $14.3 million and fourth-quarter earnings by 4 cents a share, citing an increase to the company's refund reserve accrual.

Groupon shares closed the week up 8.8% at $18.38, but fell sharply in after-hours trading according to Nasdaq.com.

It wouldn't be a week in tech without something from Apple ( AAPL).

The world's largest technology company continued to make records, hitting a new all-time high. Shares of Apple reached a high of $621.45 on Wednesday, before closing the session at $617.62.

Apple's Chinese manufacturing partner Foxconn purchased a 10% stake in Sharp, to allow Sharp to continue making LCD screens that Apple will inevitably use in the iPhone and iPad, and potentially the oft-rumored Apple television.

There were also headlines about the working conditions in Foxconn's manufacturing plant, as an auditor found "serious violations" of Chinese labor laws, with employees working too many hours.

Foxconn employees were reportedly being given days off during March, despite Apple's new iPad being released earlier in the month, something that never happens.

Apple shares closed the week higher, up 0.59% over the week's trading at $599.55.

Facebook made headlines this week, as reports came out the company asked secondary markets to halt trading of its stock.

The social networking giant is targeting May for its initial public offering, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing a source close to the matter.

No date has been set for the IPO as of yet, but Facebook could raise as much as $10 billion in the offering. According to the company's S-1 filing, which it has amended several times, Facebook has 845 million users, generating $3.71 billion in revenue in 2011.

Yahoo! ( YHOO) appointed three members to its board on Sunday, just days after largest shareholder Third Point, run by Daniel Loeb, attempted to clinch four seats on the company's board.

Yahoo! nominated John Hayes, chief marketing officer of American Express ( AXP), Peter Liguori, former chief operating officer of Discovery Communications ( DSCA), and Thomas McInerney, the outgoing chief financial officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp ( IACI).

Loeb was not pleased with the decision and lashed out in a press release. "Sadly for shareholders - who will once more bear the costs - the consequence of the Board's refusal to accept Third Point's shareholder-friendly proposals will be a time-consuming and distracting proxy contest that the Company can ill-afford," complained Third Point, in the release.

Shares of Yahoo! ended the week lower, off 1.07% to close at $15.22.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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