Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Monday’s before-dawn announcement that Tekelec (Nasdaq: TKLC) is being sold to a private equity firm and several partners for $11 a share or $780 million capped what has been, to say the least, a turbulent year for the Morrisville-based company.

In August 2010 the company announced it had landed its 100th number portability customer. But that same month Tekelec reported revenues were down from a year earlier. Then came a series of other bleak financial news and a reshuffling of management.

In January, CEO Frank Plastina resigned as Tekelec’s financials began to worsen.

In February, Tekelec said fourth quarter revenues had nose-dived 27 percent.

Then came the layoffs. In May, Tekelec announced plans to cut 15 percent of its work force after another grim quarter.

The run of bad financial news sent Tekelec shares down 50 percent.

In June, Ron de Lange, a Tekelec veteran, was promoted to replace Plastina. De Lange had been executive vice president, having joined the company in 2005.

However, the run of bad news was not yet over. In August, shares plunged to a 52-week low of $7.05 after the latest quarterly financial announcement.

The bad news streak ended last month, but not before Tekelec shares hit a 52-week low of $5.64 on Oct. 4.

Tekelec announced its biggest sale – a $20 million package – on Oct. 19. That news sent Tekelec shares up 23 percent in a matter of hours to $9.21. Another $13 million sale followed shortly thereafter.

Had Tekelec reached bottom and recovery was at hand?

Investors must have thought so.

Shares rallied to reach a high of $10.48 on Oct. 27 before slipping back to Friday’s close of $9.90.

Despite the recovery, however, Tekelec shares remain far below the 52-week high of $13.98.

It will be interesting to see how investors react to the buyout news and share price when Wall Street opens today.

What a year.

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