Microsoft's $2 billion loan helped Michael Dell and partners purchase Dell for $24.4 billion.
First things first -- if you haven't heard by now, Dell is going private. Michael Dell, with the help of private equity firm Silver Lake and a significant loan from Microsoft, have agreed to pay Dell's public shareholders $13.65 a share, valuing the transaction at $24.4 billion. Now Mr. Dell is free to run the company without having to answer to shareholders, and while it will likely be years before we know if this was in the best interest of Dell, there's an interesting side story involving Microsoft that deserves attention.
Slumping PC sales didn't stop Lenovo from shipping 14.1 million computers last quarter.
Have you heard the one about the post-PC era? Of course you have, probably a thousand times by now because of all the attention being paid to tablets and smartphones, and the uncertainty surrounding Microsoft's touch-friendly Windows 8 platform. But don't believe anyone who tells you the sky is falling -- including Apple CEO Tim Cook, who justified the launch of a $799 128GB iPad by saying people would rather play on his tablet "than their old "PCs" -- because Lenovo is proving there's still a significant market for computers.
Michael Dell reportedly wants to assume majority control of Dell.
Dell co-founder and chief executive officer Michael Dell may contribute equity financing of $500 million to $1 billion to increase his ownership in the company above 50 percent, giving him majority control, Bloomberg reports. Mr. Dell currently owns a 15.7 percent stake worth in the neighborhood of $3.6 billion. Other partners include private equity firm Silver Lake and Microsoft, each of which would contribute $1 billion to $2 billion.
Over 60 million Windows 8 licenses have been sold to date, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft this week announced record quarterly revenue of $21.45 billion for the three-month period ended December 31, 2012. Redmond's Windows Division posted revenue of $5.88 billion, up 24 percent from one year prior, though on a pro forma basis that number slides to 11 percent after factoring in net deferral of revenue for the Windows Upgrade Offer and the recognition of the previously deferred revenue from Windows 8 pre-sales.
Apple's share price continues to fall after posting a record quarter.
An apple falling from a tree branch is a good demonstration of gravity, but what does freefalling Apple stock prove? That's currently up for debate. After surging to over $700 a share prior to the iPhone 5 launch, Apple's share price has steadily declined right up until Apple announced its best quarter ever on Wednesday, at which point it went into a nosedive. What can Apple do to turn things around?
Cisco found a way out of the consumer networking market, thanks to Belkin.
Call it an end of an era, if you wish, but Cisco is hightailing it out of the consumer space after selling off its Home Networking Business Unit to Belkin for an undisclosed sum of money. The deal includes the familiar Linksys brand, which Cisco acquired back in 2003. At the time, Linksys had 305 employees and revenues of more than $500 million. All of its products were branded Linksys by Cisco following the transaction, though Cisco has reportedly been looking to get out of the consumer space for some time now.
AMD's total revenue for 2012 came to $5.42 billion, down 17 percent year-over-year.
Maybe no other company than Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is more happy to leave 2012 behind. By the numbers, it was a forgettable year for AMD, which raked in $5.42 billion in revenue for the entire year, or $47.88 billion less than Intel did. That's not a fair comparison, though there's no sugarcoating the declining numbers AMD posted. The Sunnyvale chip maker made $1.16 billion during the fourth quarter of 2012, a decrease of 9 percent compared to the previous quarter, and down 32 percent year-over-year.
The Santa Clara chip maker's profit slid 27 percent compared to one year ago.
So the sky might not be falling, but Intel's fourth quarter profit sure did. Intel reported net income of $2.5 billion for the fourth quarter of 2012, down 27 percent from $3.4 billion in Q4 2011. As one might expect, the world's largest chip maker was hurt by a slowdown in PC sales as the market shifts towards mobile devices like tablets, smartphones, and hybrid laptops. Nevertheless, Intel said it wasn't surprised by its Q4 performance.
Look for more Microsoft Retail Stores to open in the coming year.
Even if you prefer to shop online, the neat thing about brick-and-mortar businesses like Best Buy and the Apple Store is that you can spend some hands-on time with products without dipping into your wallet. Microsoft has come to understand this, and as 2013 flips over, the Redmond outfit will open half a dozen new Retail Store locations of its own, the company announced today.
OCZ Technology fans have had cause for concern lately. Earlier this month, the former memory maker turned solid state drive player sacked 28 percent of its staff and discontinued 150 product variations. The restructuring effort was put into place by OCZ's recently appointed chief, Ralph Schmitt, who was appointed to replace former CEO and founder Ryan Petersen. At the time, Schmitt admitted OCZ had "lost credibility," but going forward, he seems to have a plan to turn things around.