) -


(AAPL) - Get Report

was the star of the show again this week, as the company announced a dividend and a buyback, and "flash-crashed", all in the space of five days.

The consumer tech giant became allergic to dividends after co-founder Steve Jobs returned to Apple in the nineties. When Tim Cook took over from Jobs last year, however, there was a changing of the guard and the new CEO rethought the company's dividend strategy.

On Monday, Apple said it would spend $10 billion on a share-repurchase program and initiate a

quarterly dividend

of $2.65 per share. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company said it

expects to spend

$45 billion over the next three years.

The dividend would begin "sometime in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2012," according to a press release by the company. The buyback will start in fiscal 2013, which commences on Sept. 30, 2012.

While the dividend and buyback may have been music to investors' ears, though, the "flash-crash" definitely was not. Apple's stock


on Friday, as a rogue trade sent the stock down nearly 10% in seconds.


trade in question

may have been be an order placed through the BATS exchange, which, ironically, had trouble with its own ticker while going public Friday. Parent company

Bats Global Markets

said in a statement issued at 10:48 a.m. EST, "Please be advised that BATS is currently investigating system issues trading in symbols range A through BF. Will advise."

Shares of Apple dipped on Friday, closing down $3.29, or 0.55%, at $596.05.


(HPQ) - Get Report

announced this week it would be restructuring its operations,

merging its printer and PC divisions


The Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) and the Personal Systems Group (PSG) will become one unit, under the jurisdiction of Executive Vice President Todd Bradley. Vyomesh "VJ" Joshi, who was in charge of Imaging and Printing, is retiring after 31 years with the company.

"This combination will bring together two businesses where HP has established global leadership," said HP CEO Meg Whitman, in the press release. "By providing the best in customer-focused innovation and operational efficiency, we believe we will create a winning scenario for customers, partners and shareholders."

Shares of HP closed up 60 cents, or 2.61%, at $23.63 on Friday.


(ACN) - Get Report


better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and raised guidance on Thursday, as revenue from consulting and outsourcing continue to be strong.

Excluding items, Accenture earned 97 cents a share, up from 75 cents a share in the prior year's quarter. Analysts surveyed by

Thomson Reuters

were looking for earnings of 86 cents a share. Revenue came in at $6.8 billion, comfortably above the $6.6 billion estimate from Wall Street.

Accenture said it now expects full-year earnings to be between $3.82 and $3.90 a share, 6 cents higher than its prior range for a profit of $3.76 to $3.84 a share. For the third quarter, Accenture expects revenue between $7.05 billion and $7.25 billion. Analysts polled by

Thomson Reuters

are looking for third-quarter sales of $7.02 billion.

Shares of Accenture gained $1.36, or 2.14%, to close at $64.88 on Friday.

IT giant


(ORCL) - Get Report

reported better-than-expected

third-quarter earnings

on Tuesday, but shares fell amidst lingering concern over the company's

cloud strategy


Excluding items, the database giant earned 62 cents a share in its fiscal third quarter ended Feb. 29, up 15% from the same period last year, and well above analysts' forecast of 56 cents a share. Oracle brought in non-GAAP revenue of $9.06 billion, up 3% year-over-year. Analysts surveyed by

Thomson Reuters

were looking for sales of $9.02 billion.

Oracle has tried to expand its cloud computing business, despite CEO Larry Ellison once referring to the industry as "complete gibberish" and "water vapor." Oracle recently purchased


, but has struggled to gain traction against its competitors, and shareholders have suffered as a result.

Shares of Oracle closed down 8 cents, or 0.28%, at $28.55 on Friday.

Shares of

Micron Technology

(MU) - Get Report

fell after the chip maker posted mixed results for its fiscal second quarter on Thursday.

The Boise, Idaho-based firm reported a loss of 23 cents per share on revenue of $2.07 billion for the three months ended March 1. Analysts polled by

Thomson Reuters

were looking for a loss of 19 cents per share on $2.02 billion in revenue.

Micron shares fell 3.56% on Friday to close at $8.40.

Next week, earnings season starts to ramp up. Companies such as

Red Hat

(RHT) - Get Report


Research In Motion



Tibco Software


are all on deck.

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Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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