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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Speculation time?

When stock prices take the kind of beating that we're witnessing, the emergence of potential bargains always leads to a sort of fantasy league for takeover speculation, in which analysts and pundits play at making matches between the vulnerable and their possible suitors. These hypotheticals should always be taken well salted, but they still can make for interesting thought exercises.

The player is Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek, who gave fresh legs to a possibility -- that Microsoft might snap up RIM. The logic - Microsoft would have its own smartphones to compete with Apple's iPhone and the devices running on Google's Android platform.

Peter Misek feels RIM is a massive strategic fit for Microsoft and they have a standing offer to buy them at $50 (a share). RIM's shares traded at close to $150 just a few months ago, but stock price slides so fast lately and it's within a few bucks of that offer. The way things are going, that's hardly a stretch as it would make the deal worth just over $28 billion, and Microsoft is flush enough to pull it off without having to tap the credit markets. The question is whether MSFT really feels compelled to get into hardware wars or if it's satisfied to compete on the platform side with Windows Mobile. Neither company graced the speculation with a comment.

Meanwhile, up at RIM the folks I guess are trying to stay focused, getting the just unveiled iPhone competitor launched ("BlackBerry Storm") and as rumor has it, they are already working on the next two generations.

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