Tech Stocks This Week: Qualcomm Boosts Dividend, Netflix Stock Soars, and More

Among the headlines for tech investors this week, three stories stood out. Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) crushed the S&P 500's return of more than 3% since Monday. Meanwhile, Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) served investors a nice 9% dividend increase, and rumors surfaced Friday evening that Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is considering buying Broadcom (NASDAQ: AVGO).

Netflix stock soars

As if Netflix stock wasn't already rising rapidly enough since it reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, the stock has been on a tear this week, rising about 10%. This puts Netflix stock up 136% in the past 12 months and 72% year to date.

The run-up comes on the heels of lots of positive news, including Netflix's first Academy Award for a feature-length film, a deal with Sky TV in Europe that will bundle Netflix into a subscription pack, and various analyst upgrades for Netflix stock.

On Thursday, GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives raised his price target for Netflix stock from $310 to $375, noting the company's recent growth is "showing no signs of slowing down." Also on Thursday, The New York Times reported that former President Barack Obama "is in advanced negotiations with Netflix to produce a series of high-profile shows that will provide him a global platform after his departure from the White House," citing "people familiar with the discussions."

Qualcomm's dividend increase

On Thursday, mobile chip giant Qualcomm shifted some attention away from Broadcom's takeover attempt for the company and Qualcomm's own efforts to acquire NXP Semiconductors (NYSE: NXP) -- at least for a day. Qualcomm updated its tender offer for all outstanding shares of NXP on Friday.

Qualcomm announced a 9% dividend, increasing its quarterly cash dividend from $0.57 to $0.62. This brings Qualcomm's annual payout to $2.48, or a forward dividend yield of 3.9%.

Qualcomm used the press release to offer a subtle reminder of its efforts to complete the deal with NXP. "We look forward to closing the pending acquisition of NXP and expect the strong combined cash profile of Qualcomm and NXP to further strengthen our foundation for future capital returns for our stockholders," said Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf.

Intel is considering bidding to buy Broadcom

Just when it seemed like this merger and acquisition frenzy couldn't get any more complex, leading chipmaker Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is now eyeing Broadcom as a potential acquisition

Citing "people familiar with the matter," WSJ said Intel worries that if Broadcom acquires Qualcomm, it would "pose a serious competitive threat." If Broadcom's attempt to takeover Qualcomm begins to look like it will succeed, Intel may make an offer for Broadcom, WSJ's sources said.

Broadcom investors seemed to like the news, as shares climbed 3.4% in after-hours trading -- and that's on top of a 2.8% rise during the trading day.

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Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Qualcomm. The Motley Fool recommends Broadcom Ltd and Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.