Altera Shares Climb on Report That an Intel Deal Is Near

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Altera Corp. shares reached a four-year high after the New York Post reported that Intel Corp. is near a deal to buy the semiconductor maker for about $15 billion.

Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, has been looking for growth beyond the struggling personal-computer market. The price could be as high as $54 a share, the New York Post said, citing an unidentified person with knowledge of the talks.

Shares of Altera, which makes a broad range of low-power programmable chips, rose 4 percent Friday to close at $48.85, their highest point since April 2011. The gain put the stock up 41 percent since March 26, the day before Intel was first reported to be interested in a deal. Intel rose 1.3 percent to $34.46.

Altera rejected an offer of about $54 a share from Santa Clara, California-based Intel last month, people familiar with the negotiations said at the time.

Chuck Mulloy, a spokesman for Intel, declined to comment. Altera representative Sue Martenson didn’t immediately respond to a request comment.

The addition of Altera could help Intel expand its most profitable business: supplying server chips used in data centers.

While PC-chip sales are declining as more consumers rely on tablets and smartphones to get online, the data centers needed to churn out information and services for those mobile devices are driving orders for higher-end Intel processors and shoring up profitability. Sales in Intel’s data-center division rose 19 percent in the first quarter. The demand for server chips has helped Intel forecast 62 percent gross margins for the current quarter, slightly higher than analysts estimated.

(A previous version of this story was corrected to say that Nisha Ruhomutally, an Altera public-relations officer, is a woman.)

(Updates with closing stock price in third paragraph.)
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