Facebook's Graph Search Show: Tech Weekly

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Facebook ( FB) was the week's biggest headline-grabber, unveiling its Graph Search technology at a press event on Tuesday.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg described Graph Search as a new way to search the 1 billion people and more than 240 billion photos on Facebook, as well as the social network's connections, which number more than 1 trillion.

During his presentation at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Zuckerberg emphasized that Graph Search is different from Web search, highlighting both the technology's scale and its constantly changing nature.

Investors, however, were underwhelmed by the beta-search technology, and Facebook's shares fell following the announcement.

There had been intense speculation about search news leading up to the press conference, along with talk of a possible video-streaming deal with Netflix ( NFLX) and even a Facebook phone.

Zuckerberg was unable to say when Facebook might monetize the Graph Search technology. This clearly irked investors. Instead, the youthful Facebook supremo said that "this could be a business over time."

TheStreet's Chris Ciaccia, who attended the Facebook event, believes that Graph Search will generate significant revenue over time and could eventually make inroads into Google's ( GOOG) search business.

Facebook shares ended the week down 6.5% at $29.66.

As always, Apple ( AAPL) was in the news this week amid rumors of weak iPhone and iPad demand.

On Tuesday, Nomura Equity Research cut its estimates and price target for the tech giant. Citing "signs of weaker-than-expected" iPhone 5 sales in its checks, Nomura cut its iPhone unit estimates for fiscal year 2013 by 5%, to 157 million from 166 million. For fiscal 2014, the research firm slashed its estimate by 8%, to 184 million iPhones from 199 million.

On Friday, Reuters reported that Sharp has cut output for iPad screens, although TheStreet's Chris Ciaccia suggests that demand is actually shifting from the full-size 9.7-inch iPad to the iPad mini.

Apple reports its first-quarter results after market close on Jan. 23. TheStreet will live-blog the report:

Apple shares slipped 3.9% during the week to close Friday at $500.

Buyout rumors swirled around Dell ( DELL) this week. Citing two people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg reported on Monday that the No. 3 PC maker is in buyout talks with private equity firms. One of the unidentified sources said Dell is in discussions with at least two firms.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that talks to take Dell private are at an advanced stage. Citing two unnamed sources, Reuters reported that at least four major banks have been lined up to provide financing, with buyout specialist Silver Lake Partners leading the deal.

Dell has not yet responded to TheStreet's request for comment on this story.

Dell shares gained 18% during the week to close Friday at $12.84.

No. 1 PC maker HP ( HPQ) was another tech heavyweight in the spotlight. HP's shares spiked Wednesday after The Wall Street Journal reported that potential purchasers are evaluating the company's Autonomy and EDS units.

A representative for HP told TheStreet that the company doesn't comment on speculation.

There have been plenty of rumors, though, about HP carving off parts of its business. In a recent regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, HP said it will "continue to evaluate the potential disposition of assets and businesses that may no longer help us meet our objectives."

HP shares ended the week up 5.9% at $17.11.

Tech earnings season kicked off with fourth-quarter results from Intel ( INTC) on Thursday. The No. 1 chipmaker beat Wall Street's estimates, but offered weaker-than-expected guidance.

For the first quarter, Intel predicts revenue of $12.7 billion, plus or minus $500 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected $12.9 billion in sales and earnings of 39 cents a share. For the full year, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based firm expects a low single-digit percentage increase in revenue.

Intel's guidance weighed on the company's shares, which ended the week down 3.2% at $21.25.

eBay ( EBAY) beat Wall Street's fourth-quarter estimates on Wednesday, boosted by mobile and Marketplaces growth.

For the first quarter, eBay forecast revenue of between $3.65 billion and $3.75 billion, compared to analysts' prediction of $3.795 billion. Excluding items, the auction site expects earnings between 60 cents and 62 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of 63 cents a share.

eBay shares ended the week up about 1.0% at $54.21.

Telecom giant AT&T ( T) will take a $10 billion fourth-quarter charge related to its pension and benefit plans, the company warned late on Thursday. AT&T also warned that high smartphone subsidies will put pressure on the firm's profit and estimated that the impact of storms, including Superstorm Sandy, will reduce its fourth-quarter operating income by around $175 million.

AT&T shares closed the week down 2.4% at $33.44.

Brocade ( BRCD) ended its five-month search for a CEO on Monday, appointing industry veteran Lloyd Carney. Brocade shares ended the week up 1.4% at $5.64.

In addition to Apple, a host of other tech companies report quarterly results next week, including IBM ( IBM), Symantec ( SYMC), Google ( GOOG), AMD ( AMD), Texas Instruments ( TXN), F5 Networks ( FFIV) and Juniper Networks ( JNPR).

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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