The 3 Biggest Surprises in Tech This Week

Say what you want about the tech sector, but it's never boring. Any given week will keep tech investors flooded with product announcements, earnings surprises, and crazy strategy shifts that absolutely nobody saw coming.

These are three of the most shocking pieces of tech news this week.

That's just ostrichious! Image credit: Flickr Commons.

The return of solar power
Solar-power giant First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR  ) published an updated revenue and earnings outlook for the next couple of years. The next day, shares soared 45.5% higher. At the midpoint of management's guidance ranges, First Solar beat Wall Street's 2013 revenue target by 25% and next year's estimates by 13%.

Investors were pleasantly surprised by First Solar's new targets, which include the impact of a recent acquisition. As the company incorporates TetraSun's high-efficiency solar technology in its own products, First Solar will be able to enter whole new markets and offer better solutions at a lower cost.

"This breakthrough technology will unlock the half of the PV market which favors high-efficiency solutions, which has been unserved by First Solar to date," said CEO Jim Hughes.

Are these BlackBerrys rotten?
Here's one that will shock you one way or another, no matter which side of the street you're on.

First, The Wall Street Journal reported that BlackBerry's (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) new Z10 phones have been an unmitigated disaster. One analyst pinged his retail connections and found that "returns are now exceeding sales" of the Z10 in many cases. Another noted that sales started out poorly and "weakened significantly as the days passed." This is the shocker if you believe in the new BlackBerry platform and hope that it will revive the company's flagging fortunes.

So here's a surprise for BlackBerry doubters. The company not only denies and refutes these claims, but it even filed complaints with the SEC and with Canadian market regulators.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion about the merits of the many competing products in the smartphone industry, but when false statements of material fact are deliberately purveyed for the purpose of influencing the markets a red line has been crossed," said BlackBerry's chief attorney, Steve Zipperstein.

It's one thing to shake your head and wag a finger at supposedly false conclusions, but it's a whole 'nother ballgame when the lawyers come marching in. Keep an eye on this unfolding drama with our Foolish watchlist feature.

The PC is dead!
Wait, wasn't this old news already? The writing has been on the wall for months already.

Apparently not for many investors.

This week saw fresh PC sales estimates for the first quarter from analyst firms IDC and Gartner, and they both pointed to a drastic drop. IDC said unit sales fell 14% year over year, reaching rock-bottom levels not seen since 2009.

And yes, investors were flabbergasted. Shares of PC giant Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) traded 6.6% lower after these announcements, and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) plunged 5%. You can bet that Dell (UNKNOWN: DELL.DL  ) would be in the dumps if the stock weren't insulated from news-powered swings by the ongoing process of going private.

So I guess this is a shock of sorts. If nothing else, I'm surprised that the markets took the PC sales reports as hard as they did.

Investors and bystanders alike have been shocked by First Solar's precipitous drop over the past two years. The stakes have never been higher for the company: Is it done for good, or ready for a rebound? If you're looking for continuing updates and guidance on the company whenever news breaks, The Motley Fool has created a brand-new report that details every must know side of this stock. To get started, simply click here now.


Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 4:12 PM, jeffreber44 wrote:

    I am quite pleased with Mr. Elop and his progress. The Nokia team has come from no smartphone to having probably the best smartphone on the market. It is all coming together. World market share of smartphones for Nokia seems to have reached 10%. Firmly putting them into the top three. Don't forget that Nokia shipped the second most overall phones last year. With their new Vietnam factory, there will be no short falls again. Get ready for some exciting products this summer as mentioned by Elop himself. Nokia R&D budget, more than apple and Samsung combined, will produce things this year that no one has ever seen.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 5:04 PM, Rockthebest wrote:

    Don't know what u talking about, q10 orders are of to a great start.

    Why the hate messages? Go post ur hate some where else. This article is only for smart people. We don't like dummies.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 7:34 PM, Rockthebest wrote:

    Infothatsucks your comments stink like you.

  • Report this Comment On April 13, 2013, at 9:48 PM, TimKnows wrote:

    InfoThatSucksUsOff - perhaps you and many others are going to jail soon?

  • Report this Comment On April 15, 2013, at 12:55 AM, BlackBerryGreat wrote:

    InfoThatSucks, you know squat. Why do you think you are unemployed? You are way too stupid to know anything. All you do all day is post here and get laughed at by people with an IQ higher than yours, which is everyone on the planet. No one wants to hire you. No one likes you. You have no future. Eat a bullet, the world will be a better place for it. lololol. LOSER!!

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