Technology Sector Review: X-Rite Danaher Deal, Apple Tops Tablet Market

X-Rite, Incorporated (NASDAQ:XRIT): X-Rite, Incorporated (NASDAQ:XRIT) announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement with Danaher (NYSE:DHR) under which Danaher will acquire the company for $5.55 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $625M including the assumption of debt, net of cash. The transaction was unanimously approved by the X-Rite Board of Directors. The cash tender offer of $5.55 per share is expected to commence within 5 business days. This offer represents a premium of 39% over X-Rite’s closing share price of $4.00 on April 9, 2012, the last trading day prior to the announcement. Upon completion of the transaction, X-Rite, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will operate as a stand-alone company within Danaher’s Product Identification group which is a part of their Industrial Technology Segment. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. It is expected to close during Q2.

The shares closed at $5.54, up $1.54, or 38.5%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $476.60 million.

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR): Chinese solar firm LDK will lay off employees who have been at the company for less than three years, according to Digitimes.

The shares closed at $21.38, up $1.19, or 5.89%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $1.85 billion.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): Worldwide media tablet sales to end users are forecast to total 118.9M units in 2012, a 98% increase from 2011 sales of 60M units, according to Gartner (NYSE:IT). Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS continues to be the dominant media tablet OS, as it is projected to account for 61.4% of worldwide media tablet sales to end users in 2012. Despite the arrival of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)-based devices to this market, and the expected international rollout of the Kindle Fire (NASDAQ:AMZN), Apple will continue to be the market leader through the forecast period. Microsoft tablets are projected to account for 4.1% of media tablet sales this year, and grow to 11.8% of sales by the end of 2016. Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) tablets are forecast to account for 31.9% of media tablet sales in 2012.

AAPL shares closed at $628.44, down $7.79, or 1.22%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $585.94 billion. MSFT shares closed at $30.47, down $0.63, or 2.03%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $255.67 billion.

QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM): A start-up called Bluestacks, which has developed software that allows apps from Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system to be used on Windows PCs – has attracted at least $23.7M of investments, according to TechCrunch. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) recently invested $10M in the start-up, and other investors have included AMD (NYSE:AMD) and Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS), the publication stated.

The shares closed at $66.22, down $0.28, or 0.42%, on the day. Its market capitalization is $112.01 billion.

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