Facebook's Follies: Tech Weekly Recap

Tickers in this article: DELL FB HPQ TSLA

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Following the media blur that was Facebook's recent IPO, this week in technology was relatively quiet, with earnings from Dell and HP leading the way amid yet more fallout from the Facebook offering.

Facebook's IPO has been heavily criticized for a variety of reasons. Some of the more notable ones are the lack of a move higher on its opening day, allegations of improper disclosures to select clients by Morgan Stanley , the lead underwriter, and the continued poor performance of shares.

Despite all the flap, some said the "Facebook flop" was a good thing, and one analyst thinks there's massive growth ahead.

Needham analyst Laura Martin initiated coverage on the social networking giant with a $40 price target this week and rates the shares "buy," calling the company "an option on the world."

Martin says Facebook's revenue-generating ability is only just starting. The company deserves a premium to Google because "the risk an investor takes in buying FB is lower than Google's at its IPO date."


Facebook also announced its own camera app on Thursday, Facebook Camera for iPhone.

The new app makes photo sharing easier, Facebook said, allowing users to share multiple photos at once, caption pictures, tag them and put their locations on them.

This follows last month's announcement by Facebook that it's purchasing Instagram, a social networking app, which has many of the same features as Facebook's just-launched app.

Shares of Facebook fell 16.5% this week to close at $31.91.


Investors punished Dell this week after the tech giant missed Wall Street's revenue and earnings estimates in its first-quarter results on Tuesday, citing a "challenging" economic environment.

Dell earned 43 cents a share on revenue of $14.4 billion during the quarter. This was down from last year, when the company earned 55 cents a share on $15 billion in revenue. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 46 cents a share on $14.91 billion in revenue.

Dell's second-quarter guidance was also weaker than Wall Street was expecting. Dell said it expects sales to come in between $14.69 billion and $15 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters are looking for sales of $15.42 billion.

Shares of Dell plunged 15.5% this week to $12.46.

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Shares of Hewlett-Packard moved higher on Wednesday after the PC giant reported better-than-consensus quarterly results and unveiled plans to cut a chunk of its workforce over the next few years.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company reported fiscal second-quarter non-GAAP earnings of 98 cents a share on $30.70 billion in revenue. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of 91 cents a share on $29.91 billion in revenue.

HP also announced plans to cut 27,000 jobs, or 8% of its workforce, by 2014. Some 9,000 are expected to leave this year, CFO Cathie Lesjak said on the earnings call. The Dow component expects to save between $3 billion and $3.5 billion by the end of fiscal 2014 from the job cuts.

Shares of HP closed the week up 4% at $22.33.


I'll end on a quirky note this week. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is not just into making fancy cars that go really fast.

Earlier this week, his company SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Dragon capsule into space.

This marks the first time a private company has sent a spacecraft into space. The rocket docked at the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday.


Next week is going to be a shortened week because of the Memorial Day holiday, and with no major earnings reports, I'd suggest everyone take this long holiday, spend it with family and friends, and give thanks to the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.

See you next week everybody.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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