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Tech Rewind: Earnings, iPads and Twitter IPO Details

By Columns FOXBusiness

Tech Rewind: Buyouts and mergers for BlackBerry, AMAT

It was a week for the deal-makers in the tech sector, as BlackBerry announced a buyout offer on Monday, and Applied Materials merged with rival Tokyo Electron on Tuesday.

It’s earnings season on Wall Street, but some of the best news out of the boardroom was coming from the West Coast. Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft, Xerox, and Zynga unveiled their quarterly reports cards, and the news was upbeat.

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Netflix (NFLX) earnings kicked the week off on a positive note, beating expectations as the company added 1.3 million U.S. customers in the last quarter, bringing the total number of subscribers to nearly 30 million. The digital streaming service now has more paying viewers than HBO’s near 29 million, and the news sent the stock soaring in Tuesday’s session. 

Netflix shares finished the week about 1% lower, however, after Chief Executive Reid Hastings warned in an investor letter that some of the volatility the stock has experienced in the last year was fueled by euphoria, and “some of the euphoria today feels like 2003.” In 2003, the stock went on a tear before falling by more than 50% in 2004. Netflix shares are up more than 250% so far this year.

On Tuesday, Apple (AAPL) launched its newest iPad, called the iPad Air, which is thinner and lighter than previous generations and starts at $499. Apple also refreshed its iPad Mini, adding a retina display. The iPad Mini with retina display will start at $399, as the company cuts the price on last year’s iPad Mini to $299.

Also on Tuesday, Nokia Corp. (NOK) announced its first tablet device, the Nokia Lumia 2520, which runs on Microsoft Windows RT and features Microsoft Office. The 10-inch tablet starts at $499 and comes in multiple colors.

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Later in the week, Amazon (AMZN) reported a quarterly loss as it continued its aggressive expansion plan, but revenue beat expectations and shares moved higher on the report. 

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Microsoft (MSFT) posted strong earnings that beat the Street on Thursday, riding a 10% increase in software sales, and even though the company’s hardware division has been slow to take off, the results fueled shares of the Redmond, Wash.-based company higher; the stock touched a six-year high during Friday’s session.

Even troubled social-gaming company Zynga (ZNGA) reported losses that were better than expected, with adjusted revenue coming in higher than estimates.

Xerox (XRX) broke the sector’s winning streak with a miss on revenue. The paper and printing company cut its full-year outlook, prompting shares to sag 11% for the week.

More details emerged in the countdown to Twitter’s initial public offering. The social media giant said it plans to price its shares between $17 and $20, meaning the company’s valuation could surpass $11 billion. 

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