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  1.    #1  
    Hi all,

    I am not crazy over involvement of either two companies!

    Take care,

    Jay


    Microsoft & IBM: Potential Suitors for HP
    By Dian L. Chu, Economic Forecasts & Opinions
    Posted on 08/17/10 at 7:58pm by Dian L. Chu

    The longer HP languishes at the $41 a share level, the more likely they become a takeover target. Well, the fact that HP currently doesn`t have a CEO, and the fact that they are dirt cheap with regards to stock price to book value makes them vulnerable.

    After all, when HP is trading at $55 a share, and any takeover requires a hefty premium of at least 20% to actually get a non-hostile bid to be accepted by the board and shareholders, this becomes a huge roadblock to a M&A deal being completed successfully.

    But if a firm`s stock has fallen like HP`s because of a non-material event to the business like the firing of a CEO, this creates a once in a lifetime buying opportunity that might only have a short window before Wall Street investors wake up and realize that HP is too cheap relative to the company`s underlying business fundamentals, and current financial performance. But if HP is trading at $41 a share, and MSFT or IBM pays a 20% premium over this price, this is doable.

    Are there synergies that could be captured in a Microsoft and HP or IBM and HP merger? Actually there are. Let`s take Microsoft first.

    Microsoft & HP

    MSFT wants to get into both the tablet and smart phone markets which HP is already setting up the groundwork with their 2011 launch of the HP slate and their recent acquisition of PALM. Microsoft desperately needs to branch out and get into the business services arena which HP already has a foothold in, similar to IBM. Otherwise, Microsoft risk other firms entrenching on their territory of office suite products through the backdoor of cloud computing, and other business services offerings.

    Would there be a cultural clash between the two? Maybe 20 years ago, but odd as it seems, HP would actually add some much needed youthful element and growth zing to Microsoft`s staid ways. Microsoft needs an infusion; they have been stuck in the same place for basically the last decade. They need to either get off the pot and start paying a 5% dividend with all that cash they have been sitting on, or go out there and grow the top line through meaningful large scale acquisitions that really make a splash.

    Next let`s look at a IBM and HP merger.

    IBM & HP

    The synergies between IBM and HP are quite striking in the business services arena, and actually could help augment each company`s particular strengths in this area to attain more business by offering a more complete A-Z business solution in this high margin area. IBM could actually diversify its revenue stream by getting back into the consumer PC and hardware business, as IBM`s latest quarter suggests they may have specialized themselves into too fine a corner with their current business model approach.

    Although IBM's current business model has high margins, it is very cyclical in nature, and almost exclusively reliant on the large corporate client, with little exposure that a large consumer base that HP offers. Acquiring HP would help IBM hedge and diversify its revenue stream. It’s the same reason why the major oil companies are still holding onto their downstream (refining and marketing) assets. The downstream operations offer more consistent earnings over a diverse set of economic conditions, and thus act as a revenue hedge for the more volatile upstream (E&P) operations. The same benefit could be attained by IBM through diversifying their revenue stream from the current overly specialized model.

    Like Microsoft, IBM is sitting on a pile of cash, and even though they have changed their business model over the last five years dramatically, the stock price is the same place it was 10 years ago. So IBM is facing the same challenge of organic growth just like Microsoft. It will also either need to pony up and offer a 5% dividend, or start growing the top line through some bold moves such as an HP acquisition that would really invigorate Big Old Blue.

    Takeout Put at $40

    I think there is a natural put on the HP stock at the $40 a share level as the world was falling apart last week, and it held that level under some pretty serious selling pressure. This is the takeout put price. Will a deal likely happen similar to the BHP-Potash big time merger? We will see but one thing is for sure, whether we are talking about Exxon buying out XTO Energy or another merger in some other sector, we will experience major consolidations in all sectors including the Technology sector in the near future.

    Corporations are sitting on too much cash and fortune 500 companies’ stock prices are too cheap given their financial performance in a tough economic environment. It is always easier and more cost efficient to grow through acquisition as opposed to an organic growth strategy in most cases. In the current challenging economic environment and a low cost of capital for major corporations, acquisitions make for the most efficient use of capital allocation.

    Dian L. Chu, Aug. 17, 2010
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  2. #2  
    This is silly. IBM has divested themselves of the product categories that are HPs core products. IBM Printers became Lexmark. IBM PCs and Laptops became Lenovo, IBM hard drives went to Hitachi, and the list goes on.

    And Microsoft couldn't possible want to get in to the hardware business beyond the mouse/camera/keyboard stuff.

    These articles you are finding are getting sillier and sillier, as if the on-line "journalists" have all been given LSD....
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  3. #3  
    I didn't read the whole thing but the "author" of this article deserves to have his fingers cut off so that he can never type again. HP is so far away from looking to be acquired. They just posted a profit of 2.3 billion. They are a huge company, MS or IBM wouldn't know what to even do with them. This is so far from journalism it's actually depressing. Wait two more weeks and I'm sure their stock price will surpass the 45 mark from before Hurd got canned.
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    #4  
    The article says Microsoft wants to get into the smartphone market. Microsoft is already in the smartphone market.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by voodoochild View Post
    I didn't read the whole thing but the "author" of this article deserves to have his fingers cut off so that he can never type again. HP is so far away from looking to be acquired. They just posted a profit of 2.3 billion. They are a huge company, MS or IBM wouldn't know what to even do with them. This is so far from journalism it's actually depressing. Wait two more weeks and I'm sure their stock price will surpass the 45 mark from before Hurd got canned.
    This was written by someone living in the 80's when people were forming holding companies to collect unrelated business based on nothing more than numbers and ratios. So if this was an academic exercise in a college finance class, the numbers would be interesting.

    But in the real world where they would be expected to create and sell products and integrate to massive companies without hurting sales or product development... this is just someone typing because he likes to see his name at the top of "on-line articles" and hope reuters picks up the story. And I'll bet he sends these to his mother so she can show them to the ladies in her sewing club.

    Complete nonsense.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Workerb33 View Post
    This is silly. IBM has divested themselves of the product categories that are HPs core products. IBM Printers became Lexmark. IBM PCs and Laptops became Lenovo, IBM hard drives went to Hitachi, and the list goes on.

    And Microsoft couldn't possible want to get in to the hardware business beyond the mouse/camera/keyboard stuff.

    These articles you are finding are getting sillier and sillier, as if the on-line "journalists" have all been given LSD....
    I agree with you, mostly -- but if HPQ falls to 35 I'd be pretty willing to bet cash money that Larry buys it at 50+ for Oracle -- and then gives the management of the HP division to Hurd.

    Not much antitrust overlap for Larry -- where as M$ couldn't do it even if they wanted to (and they don't). IBM also doesn't want it. (but FTC headaches for either M$ or IBM)

    Larry would slash jobs and divisions even more fiercely than Hurd the Turd or Fiorina the Terrible.

    The biggest barrier for Larry would be the FTC's potential objection to merging Oracle with HP's services division (the recently acquired EDS). But that's likely surmountable. Truth is Larry really only wants EDS -- and would likely disgorge most everything else.

    (The contrary view is that Larry's recent acquisition of Sun (and its Java patents) makes for too much corporate absorption in one year. HP's size -- along with Sun, might even give Larry the big boa constrictor, some pause.)
    Last edited by BARYE; 08/20/2010 at 05:25 AM.
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