Quantenna sold for $1.07 billion

ON Semiconductor to acquire Quantenna for $24.50 per share

Quantenna sold for $1.07 billion, Stockwinners

ON Semiconductor Corporation (ON) and Quantenna Communications, Inc. (QTNA) announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for ON Semiconductor to acquire Quantenna for $24.50 per share in an all cash transaction.

The acquisition consideration represents equity value of approximately $1.07B and enterprise value of approximately $936M, after accounting for Quantenna’s net cash of approximately $136M at the end of fourth quarter of 2018.

The acquisition significantly enhances ON Semiconductor’s connectivity portfolio with the addition of Quantenna’s industry leading Wi-Fi technology and software capabilities.

Following consummation, the transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to ON Semiconductor’s non-GAAP earnings per share and free cash flow, excluding any non-recurring acquisition related charges, the fair value step-up inventory amortization, and amortization of acquired intangibles.

The transaction is not subject to a financing condition. ON Semiconductor intends to fund the transaction through cash on hand and available capacity under its existing revolving credit facility.

Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by Quantenna’s stockholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

The transaction has been approved by ON Semiconductor’s and Quantenna’s boards of directors and is expected to close in the second half of 2019.

No approval of the stockholders of ON Semiconductor is required in connection with the proposed transaction.

Note that QNTA was featured by Stockwinners on February 22 at $18.00.

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Electro Scientific sold for $1 billion

MKS Instruments to acquire Electro Scientific for $30.00 per share

Electro Scientific sold for $1 billion, Stockwinners
Electro Scientific sold for $1 billion, Stockwinners

MKS Instruments (MKSI) and Electro Scientific (ESIO) announced that they have entered into an agreement for MKS to acquire ESI for $30.00 per share.

The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately $1B.

The combined company is expected to have approximately $2.2B in pro forma annual revenue, based on the two companies’ calendar 2017 historical results.

The transaction is expected to be accretive to MKS’ non-GAAP net earnings and free cash flow during the first 12 months post-closing.

The combined company expects to realize $15M in annualized cost synergies within 18 to 36 months.

MKS anticipates the acquisition will further advance the MKS strategy to enhance our Surround the WorkpieceSM offerings by adding systems expertise and deep technical understanding of laser materials processing interactions.

ESI’s knowledge in printed circuit board processing systems and other capabilities will provide MKS the opportunity to accelerate the roadmaps and performance of laser, motion and photonics portfolio.

In addition, ESI brings a new platform of industrial markets enabling MKS to leverage its expertise more broadly. MKS intends to fund the transaction with a combination of available cash on hand and up to $650M in committed term loan debt financing.

On a pro forma basis, as if the transaction closed on June 30, we expect the combined company to have a strong balance sheet with combined pro forma net cash and investments of approximately $400M and total term loan debt outstanding of $1B. This would result in pro forma trailing twelve month leverage, defined as debt to Adjusted EBITDA of 1.3 times and pro forma net leverage of 0.8 times.

Actual leverage ratios will depend upon a number of factors and shall be determined at the time of the closing. The company has also obtained a commitment to upsize its asset based revolving credit facility to $100M.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the MKS and ESI boards of directors and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and approval by ESI’s shareholders, and is expected to close in Q1 of 2019.


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Xcerra sold for $796 million

Cohu to acquire Xcerra in cash, stock deal valued around $796M

Xcerra sold for $796 million, Stockwinners
Xcerra sold for $796 million, Stockwinners

Cohu (COHU) and Xcerra (XCRA) announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Cohu will acquire Xcerra for a combination of cash and stock.

The acquisition is expected to make Cohu a global leader in semiconductor test, with combined sales for Cohu and Xcerra in excess of $800M for the last twelve months.

Upon the closing of the transaction, Xcerra shareholders will be entitled to receive $9.00 in cash and 0.2109 of a share of Cohu common stock, subject to the terms of the definitive agreement.

Based on the closing price of Cohu common stock as of May 7, 2018, the transaction values Xcerra at $13.92 per share, or approximately $796M in equity value, with a total enterprise value of approximately $627M, after excluding Xcerra’s cash and marketable securities net of the debt on its balance sheet as of January 31, 2018.

The transaction value represents a premium of 8.4% to Xcerra’s closing price on May 7, 2018, and a premium of 15.4% to Xcerra’s 30-day average closing price.

The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to non-GAAP earnings per share and generate over $20M of annual run-rate cost synergies within 2 years of closing, excluding stock-based compensation and other charges.

Xcerra shareholders are expected to own approximately 30% of the combined company upon the closing of the transaction. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of calendar year 2018, subject to approval by both companies’ respective shareholders, antitrust regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.


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Lumentum to acquire Oclaro for $1.8B

Lumentum to acquire Oclaro for $1.8B in cash and stock 

Lumentum to acquire Oclaro for $1.8B. Stockwinners.com
Lumentum Holdings (LITE) and Oclaro (OCLR) announced that the two companies have signed a definitive agreement, unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, pursuant to which Lumentum will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Oclaro. For each share of Oclaro stock held, Oclaro stockholders will be entitled to receive $5.60 in cash and 0.0636 of a share of Lumentum common stock, subject to the terms of the definitive agreement.

 

The transaction values Oclaro at $9.99 per share or approximately $1.8B in equity value, based on the closing price of Lumentum’s stock on March 9, of $68.98.

 

The transaction value represents a premium of 27% to Oclaro’s closing price on March 9 and a premium of 40% to Oclaro’s 30 day average closing price.

 

Oclaro stockholders are expected to own approximately 16% of the combined company at closing.

 

The transaction is expected to generate more than $60M of annual run-rate synergies within 12 to 24 months of the closing and be immediately accretive to non-GAAP earnings per share.

 

Lumentum intends to fund the cash consideration with a combination of cash on hand from the combined companies’ balance sheets and $550M in debt financing. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of calendar 2018, subject to approval by Oclaro’s stockholders, antitrust regulatory approval in the U.S. and China, and other customary closing conditions.

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Mr. Broadcom goes to Washington

Broadcom pledges cooperation with U.S., sees U.S. ‘global leader’ in 5G 

Broadcom goes to Washington, Stockwinners.com
Broadcom goes to Washington

Broadcom Limited (AVGO) released an open letter to Members of Congress regarding its offer to acquire Qualcomm (QCOM), stating in part:

“We appreciate your interest in our offer to acquire Qualcomm Incorporated and would like to take this opportunity to respectfully address a number of issues with regard to this transaction and its potential impact.

Much of the recent communication about our acquisition has centered on concerns about the future development of 5G technology. To make it clear that we are steadfast in our support of 5G development, I recently made this public pledge: Broadcom is committed to making the United States the global leader in 5G.

Mr. Broadcom goes to Washington

Any notion that a combined Broadcom-Qualcomm would slash funding or cede leadership in 5G is completely unfounded. We have a proven track record of investing in and growing core franchises in the companies we acquire. In the case of Qualcomm, this will be 5G cellular.

We are fully committed to making the United States the global leader in 5G by focusing resources and strengthening leadership in this area. We also will work closely with the United States government as we drive to achieve and sustain this global leadership in 5G and beyond.

Consistent with that commitment, Broadcom is also pledging to create a new $1.5 billion fund with a focus on innovation to train and educate the next generation of RF engineers in the United States. This will ensure America’s continued leadership in future wireless technology.

In addition, Broadcom will not sell any critical national security assets to any foreign companies. Of course, any dispositions of assets to foreign buyers would be themselves subject to CFIUS review…

Second, I want to make it clear that Broadcom is today in every important respect an American company. We are built on the roots of several innovative and leading United States technology companies including Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, Broadcom Corporation and Brocade Communications Systems.

Broadcom is led by an executive team of American citizens and a Board of Directors made up of nearly all American citizens…T

he bottom line is that a combined, American Broadcom-Qualcomm will be a more focused and stronger champion for sustained United States leadership in 5G than a standalone Qualcomm, an outcome that strongly supports America’s national security interests.”


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Broadcom lowers its offer for Qualcomm

Broadcom adjusts offer for Qualcomm to $79.00 per Qualcomm share 

Broadcom proposes to buy Qualcomm for $79 per share.  

Broadcom (AVGO) reaffirms its commitment to acquiring Qualcomm (QCOM), and is adjusting its offer following the Qualcomm board’s decision to transfer $4.10 per Qualcomm share (or $6.2B of value) from Qualcomm stockholders to NXP (NXPI) stockholders.

Broadcom is prepared to acquire Qualcomm for $79 per Qualcomm share, consisting of $57 in cash and $22 in Broadcom shares (premised on Qualcomm’s revised agreement to acquire NXP at $127.50 per NXP share).

In addition, Broadcom’s proposed merger agreement for Qualcomm would provide for an automatic increase of $3 in cash per Qualcomm share, or a total of $82 per Qualcomm share, consisting of $60 in cash and $22 in Broadcom shares, in the event that Qualcomm is unable to complete the NXP (NXPI) acquisition.

Broadcom’s proposed merger agreement otherwise remains unchanged, including the $8 billion regulatory reverse termination fee and 6% per annum (net of dividends) ticking fee accruing from and after the 12-month anniversary of the date of the merger agreement.

Broadcom believes that a responsible Qualcomm board could have preserved value by following ISS’s clear recommendation to work with Broadcom on the NXP transaction and negotiate the sale of Qualcomm to Broadcom.

Instead Qualcomm’s board acted against the best interests of its stockholders by unilaterally transferring excessive value to NXP’s activist stockholders.

Despite this direct value transfer, Broadcom remains committed to delivering a value-maximizing offer to Qualcomm stockholders.

Broadcom remains confident that Qualcomm’s stockholders will continue to support its proposal to acquire Qualcomm, and looks forward to concluding a transaction with this Qualcomm board of directors, or the newly elected Qualcomm board following its annual meeting on March 6, 2018.

Broadcom continues to urge Qualcomm stockholders to vote the entire BLUE proxy card “FOR” ALL SIX Broadcom nominees to show support for the Broadcom proposal.


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Barron’s is bullish on Danaher and GM

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names:  

Stockwinners offers Barron's review of Stockwinners offers stocks to buy, stocks to watch, upgrades, downgrades, earnings, Stocks to Buy On Margin
Stockwinners offers Barron’s review of stocks to buy, stocks to watch

BULLISH   MENTIONS:

Danaher among more reliable stocks– Danaher’s (DHR) results were met with cries of sell even though they were stellar as ever, sending the shares into negative territory on Monday, Ben Levisohn writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Fast-forward to Friday, the stock market was in freefall but the stock weathered the blast, he notes, adding that there is something to be said for Danaher’s consistency. While it will never be the fastest grower, it has grown sales at 4%-5%, quarter after quarter, while cutting costs and improving efficiency to grow earnings, making it one of the more reliable stocks out there, the report says.

General Motors shares could rise more than 35% – General Motors (GM) has been turning in strong profits, which have helped it fund research into autonomous and electric cars, Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. When Tesla’s (TSLA) stock-market value surpassed General Motors last year, it was big news, but recently the latter has edged back into the top spot, he adds. Selling at just seven times forward earnings, General Motors shares have room to rise more than 35% in the year ahead, Hough contends.

Cisco, Oracle among stocks with rising dividend estimates – Some of the large-cap companies whose dividend estimates for their current fiscal year have increased by at least 2% since July include Cisco (CSCO), Texas Instruments (TXN), UnitedHealth (UNH), Oracle (ORCL), Comcast (CMCSA), 3M (MMM), AbbVie (ABBV), Boeing (BA), Union Pacific (UNP), Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC) and JPMorgan (JPM), Lawrence Strauss writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.

TD Ameritrade adding round-the-clock trading – TD Ameritrade  (AMTD) is offering customers more social media capabilities and has added round-the-clock trading in 12 exchange-traded funds, from Sunday evening through Friday evening using its thinkorswim trading platform or TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader app, Theresa Carey writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.

Apple, Facebook facing challenges, shares still holding up well – Considering the challenges they face, both Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB) shares held up well, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Apple offered a forecast for its March quarter that missed expectations, and Wall Street now thinks that the company is reaching a bit too far in pricing the iPhone X at $999-$1150, he notes. Nonetheless, Apple is still an empire very much in control of its destiny, Ray contends. Meanwhile, Facebook said people are spending less time than before on the site, but Mark Zuckerberg calmly assured the Street that he thinks it is a good thing, the report points out.

Cisco, Salesforce among most sustainable companies – Cisco (CSCO) tops Barron’s first annual list of most sustainable companies, followed by Salesforce (CRM), Best Buy (BBY), Intuit (INTU), HP Inc. (HPQ), Texas Instruments (TXN), Microsoft (MSFT), Oshkosh (OSK), Clorox (CLX) and Xylem (XYL).

Spirit Air offers plenty of potential upside – Following a steep decline, shares of Spirit Airlines (SAVE) now trade for less than 12 times forward earnings estimates, a good value or growth play, Brett Arends writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Long-term investors may need to be patient because short-term headwinds pop up so frequently for airline stocks, but in return for its risks, Spirit offers reasonable valuations and plenty of potential upside, he argues

BEARISH  MENTIONS:

Musk new compensation package sets wrong targets – Tesla’s  (TSLA) new 10-year compensation package, which considers that Elon Musk could grow the company’s market capitalization from the current $58B to $650B in 2028, is not shareholder-friendly as it emphasizes market cap goals, not sustainable profits, Vito Racanelli writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.


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Qualcomm urges shareholders to re-elect board 

Qualcomm urges shareholders to re-elect board

Qualcomm urges shareholders to re-elect board 

“Dear Qualcomm Stockholder, Last week we released a presentation and a video that we believe clearly demonstrate why Broadcom’s hostile takeover proposal dramatically undervalues your Company and is not in the best interests of all Qualcomm’s stockholders.

In this letter, we highlight the significant regulatory issues with Broadcom’s (AVGO) proposal that Qualcomm (QCOM) stockholders must consider.

In summary: Even if Broadcom were to make a proposal that delivered fair value to Qualcomm stockholders, the complex regulatory challenges mean that Broadcom would not deliver that value to Qualcomm stockholders for what is likely to be 18 months or more – if ever.

Broadcom’s claim that it can deliver immediate cash to Qualcomm stockholders through its proposal is completely false.

Broadcom launched a proxy fight to replace Qualcomm’s world-class Board with nominees selected by it and its private equity backer, Silver Lake Partners.

If elected, these nominees – who lack significant large-cap technology Board experience – would be given control of one of the largest, most complex technology companies in the world.

In over two months since making their hostile proposal, Broadcom hasn’t taken the necessary steps to start the regulatory approval process in most countries around the world.

This is the largest proposed technology transaction in history and will require thorough reviews from both antitrust regulators and national security groups in multiple countries around the world.

Regulators in many countries may call for conflicting remedies based on their specific concerns. The regulatory process will be very long and complicated, and we believe it is highly doubtful that the proposed transaction will ultimately be approved.

In short, the Broadcom proposal raises significant regulatory and national security risks which will be compounded by the public and private customer opposition.

With these facts in mind, we believe electing Broadcom’s nominees makes no sense for Qualcomm stockholders and puts your Company at risk of significant value loss in the likely case the deal is not approved.”


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Cavium sold for $6 billion

Marvell to acquire Cavium for $40.00 per share in cash plus 2.1757 MRVL stock

Cavium sold for $6 billion. See Stockwinners.com

Marvell Technology Group (MRVL) and Cavium (CAVM) announced a definitive agreement, unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, under which Marvell will acquire all outstanding shares of Cavium common stock in exchange for consideration of $40.00 per share in cash and 2.1757 Marvell common shares for each Cavium share.

Upon completion of the transaction, Marvell will become a leader in infrastructure solutions with approximately $3.4B in annual revenue.

The transaction combines Marvell’s portfolio of leading HDD and SSD storage controllers, networking solutions and high-performance wireless connectivity products with Cavium’s portfolio of leading multi-core processing, networking communications, storage connectivity and security solutions.

The combined product portfolios provide the scale and breadth to deliver comprehensive end-to-end solutions for customers across the cloud data center, enterprise and service provider markets, and expands Marvell’s serviceable addressable market to more than $16B.

This transaction also creates an R&D innovation engine to accelerate product development, positioning the company to meet today’s massive and growing demand for data storage, heterogeneous computing and high-speed connectivity.

The transaction is expected to generate at least $150M-$175M of annual run-rate synergies within 18 months post close and to be significantly accretive to revenue growth, margins and non-GAAP EPS. Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Marvell will pay Cavium shareholders $40.00 in cash and 2.1757 Marvell common shares for each share of Cavium common stock.

The exchange ratio was based on a purchase price of $80 per share, using Marvell’s undisturbed price prior to November 3, when media reports of the transaction first surfaced.

This represents a transaction value of approximately $6B.

Cavium shareholders are expected to own approximately 25% of the combined company on a pro forma basis. Marvell intends to fund the cash consideration with a combination of cash on hand from the combined companies and $1.75B in debt financing.

Marvell has obtained commitments consisting of an $850M bridge loan commitment and a $900M committed term loan from Goldman Sachs Bank USA and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in each case, subject to customary terms and conditions. The transaction is not subject to any financing condition.

The transaction is expected to close in mid-calendar 2018, subject to regulatory approval as well as other customary closing conditions, including the adoption by Cavium shareholders of the merger agreement and the approval by Marvell shareholders of the issuance of Marvell common shares in the transaction.

Matt Murphy will lead the combined company, and the leadership team will have strong representation from both companies, including Marvell’s current CFO Jean Hu, Cavium’s Co-founder and COO Raghib Hussain and Cavium’s Vice President of IC Engineering Anil Jain.

In addition, Cavium’s Co-founder and CEO, Syed Ali, will continue with the combined company as a strategic advisor and will join Marvell’s Board of Directors, along with two additional board members from Cavium’s Board of Directors, effective upon closing of the transaction.


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Qualcomm says no thank you

Qualcomm board unanimously rejects Broadcom’s unsolicited proposal

Broadcom proposes to buy Qualcomm for $70 per share. See Stockwinners.com for details

Qualcomm (QCOM) announced that its Board of Directors unanimously rejected the unsolicited proposal announced by Broadcom (AVGO) on November 6, 2017.

“It is the Board’s unanimous belief that Broadcom’s proposal significantly undervalues Qualcomm relative to the Company’s leadership position in mobile technology and our future growth prospects,” said Paul Jacobs, Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Qualcomm Incorporated.

“No company is better positioned in mobile, IoT, automotive, edge computing and networking within the semiconductor industry. We are confident in our ability to create significant additional value for our stockholders as we continue our growth in these attractive segments and lead the transition to 5G,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated.

“The Board and Management are singularly focused on driving value for Qualcomm’s shareholders. After a comprehensive review, conducted in consultation with our financial and legal advisors, the Board has concluded that Broadcom’s proposal dramatically undervalues Qualcomm and comes with significant regulatory uncertainty. We are highly confident that the strategy Steve and his team are executing on provides far superior value to Qualcomm shareholders than the proposed offer,” said Tom Horton, Presiding Director for Qualcomm Incorporated.

QCOM closed at $64.57. AVGO closed at $264.96.

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Broadcom offers to buy Qualcomm for $155 billion

Broadcom proposes to acquire Qualcomm for $70 per share in cash and stock

Broadcom Limited (AVGO) announced a proposal to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Qualcomm (QCOM) for per share consideration of $70.00 in cash and stock.

Under Broadcom’s proposal, the $70.00 per share to be received by Qualcomm stockholders would consist of $60.00 in cash and $10.00 per share in Broadcom shares.

The Broadcom proposal stands whether Qualcomm’s pending acquisition of NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) is consummated on the currently disclosed terms of $110 per NXP share or the transaction is terminated.

The proposed transaction is valued at approximately $130B on a pro forma basis, including $25B of net debt, giving effect to Qualcomm’s pending acquisition of NXP on its currently disclosed terms.

Broadcom’s proposal was unanimously approved by its board. Broadcom said it is “prepared to engage immediately in discussions with Qualcomm to work toward a mutually acceptable definitive agreement and is ready to devote all necessary resources to finalize the necessary documentation on an expeditious basis.”

The proposed transaction will not be subject to any financing condition.

BofA Merrill Lynch, Citi, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley have advised Broadcom in writing that they are “highly confident that they will be able to arrange the necessary debt financing for the proposed transaction.”

Silver Lake Partners, which has served as a strategic partner to Broadcom in prior transactions, has provided Broadcom with a commitment letter for a $5B convertible debt financing in connection with the transaction.

Broadcom expects that the proposed transaction would be completed within approximately 12 months following the signing of a definitive agreement.

QCOM closed at $61.81. AVGO closed at $273.63. NXPI closed at $115.02.


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Barron’s is bullish on Facebook, bearish on GE

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names:

Stockwinners offers Barron's review of Stockwinners offers stocks to buy, stocks to watch, upgrades, downgrades, earnings, Stocks to Buy On Margin

 

BULLISH  MENTIONS

Cummins, United Technologies good industrial bets – Cummins (CMI), United Technologies (UTX), Honeywell (HON), Ingersoll-Rand (IR) and Illinois Tool Works (ITW) boast good dividends that should rise, Lawrence Strauss writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.

Facebook still looks like a buy – In a follow-up story, Barron’s says that Facebook’s  (FB) political-advertising imbroglio has obscured some very good revenue news. Slowing supply growth helped drive up demand and prices for Facebook ads, marking a reacceleration of growth, the report notes, adding that the company is also coming up with innovative ways to cash in on booming interest in video and creating new ad opportunities on its Messenger and Instagram platforms.

Kohl’s updated return policy raises Amazon takeover questions – Following Kohl’s (KSS) announcement that Amazon (AMZN) purchases could be returned at its stores in Chicago and Los Angeles, some have questioned if the e-Commerce giant is planning to buy the retailer, Steven Sears writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Citing Madison Global Partners’ Bernard Sosnick, the publication said Amazon may be testing the merits of owning a retailer that can build private-label products to showcase Amazon devices and services, with the holiday season to test the theory further.

May be time to play Mattel – Mattel (MAT) is half the stock it used to be, but the maker of Barbie and Hot Wheels knows it has a problem, Ben Levisohn writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Management said it would target $650M in cost cuts through 2019, while also enacting initiatives to reduce unpopular products and create new ones to help boost sales, and if it works, Mattel could be a winner, he adds.

Upside ahead for smaller companies – As tech giants soar and as the rally favors the biggest companies, there may be upside on deserving, smaller companies, such as AMD (AMD), Impinj (PI) and Everspin Technologies (MRAM), Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Meanwhile, companies such as Finisar (FNSR), Lumentum (LITE), Viavi (VIAV), Oclaro (OCLR), Applied Optoelectronics (AAOI), Inphi (IPHI), and NeoPhotonics (NPTN) are grappling with a slowdown in spending in China, but are “back for real,” he argues.

Intel AI push to boost growth – Artificial intelligence has been perceived to be a threat to Intel’s (INTC) decades-long dominance in computer chips, but its shares are up 30% this year, maybe due to third quarter earnings or maybe due to its plans to release a new line of A.I. chips developed in collaboration with Facebook (FB), and as the company’s purchase of Mobileye makes it an early leader in autonomous driving, Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s, adding that he still sees more upside ahead.

IBM, Google among potential AI winners – After decades of development, Artificial Intelligence-style computing now works, and its impact will spread far beyond board games such as Go or chess, Bill Alpert writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Citing Wells Fargo analyst Ken Sena, the report says the biggest beneficiaries will be the firms pioneering the technology, with machine learning already powering search suggestions of Google (GOOG; GOOGL) and Microsoft (MSFT), chatbots like Amazon’s (AMZN) Alexa, and the recommendations at Facebook (FB), and Netflix (NFLX). Given China’s vast size, the analyst also has similar outperformance expectations for Alibaba (BABA), Baidu (BIDU), JD.com (JD), and Tencent (TCEHY), Barron’s adds.

BEARISH  MENTIONS

Powerful bearish trend in General Electric – Investor’s confidence has eroded and General Electric’s (GE) stock price is at 2012, with a powerful bearish trend, Michael Kahn writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. But while it may look like a bargain and the stock could be the buy of the decade, Kahn argues that he still needs to see the market give him either an unambiguous selling climax, or a strong upside reversal. If not for inertia, most investors would probably have already sold their shares of General Electric, but they may be persuaded as early as November 13, when its new leader, John Flannery, holds an investor day meeting, Steven Sears writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. However, he notes that it is difficult to know how investors will react to whatever is announced at the meeting. If GE releases a draconian restructuring plan, shares could rally as investors reason that all of the bad news is out of the way, but if they lack confidence in Flannery’s approach, the stock could trade sharply lower, Barron’s adds.

Sell Under Armour as troubles ‘run deep.’  – In a follow-up story, Barron’s says that despite the skid in Under Armour (UA) shares, the sportswear company faces continuing woes, from a shift to lifestyle garments to the internet. Further, the publication notes that there seems little reason to hold shares through the holidays in hopes of a rebound.


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Apple to say goodbye to Qualcomm

Apple develops iPhones, iPads that would drop Qualcomm components 

 

Apple (AAPL) is developing iPhones and iPads for next year that would drop Qualcomm’s (QCOM) components amid a legal fight with the chipmaker, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

Apple, which is considering using only chips from Intel (INTC) and possibly MediaTek for the device, filed a federal lawsuit against Qualcomm claiming it used its market dominance to block rivals and charge costly patent royalties after the chipmaker withheld software necessary to test chips in iPhone and iPad prototypes.

Qualcomm, which has worked with Apple for a decade, stopped sharing the software after Apple filed a federal lawsuit in January accusing Qualcomm of using its market dominance unfairly to block competitors and to charge exorbitant patent royalties, this person said. Qualcomm has said Apple is mischaracterizing its practices.

Qualcomm said its “modem that could be used in the next generation iPhone has already been fully tested and released to Apple.” The chip company said it is “committed to supporting Apple’s new devices” as it does for others in the industry.

Apple in the past used only Qualcomm modem chips for iPhones, but started also procuring the chips from Intel for its iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models last year. It again used a mix of the two in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus that started selling in September.

Apple’s plans to exclude Qualcomm chips from next year’s model could still change. People familiar with Apple’s manufacturing process said the company could change modem-chip suppliers as late as June, three months before the next iPhone is expected to ship. Still, some of the people said Apple hasn’t previously designed iPhones and iPads to exclude Qualcomm chips at a similar stage of the process.

The Apple plans indicate the battle with Qualcomm could spill beyond the courtroom feud over patents into another important Qualcomm business where it has the potential to send ripples through the smartphone supply chain. Qualcomm last year sold around $3.2 billion of modem chips a year to Apple, or 20% of its total chip sales, according to an estimate by Macquarie Capital. This year, Qualcomm’s chip sales to Apple are likely to come to $2.1 billion, or 13% of total chip revenue, reflecting more fully the iPhone 7’s mix of Qualcomm and Intel modems.

Selling chips is generally less profitable for Qualcomm than its patent business. Apple paid $2.8 billion last year in Qualcomm royalties, which accounted for nearly 30% of the chip maker’s per-share earnings, according to Macquarie Capital. In the last year, Apple has stopped reimbursing those fees to iPhone and iPad manufacturers, which in turn have stopped paying Qualcomm.


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Broadsoft sold for $1.9 billion

Cisco to acquire BroadSoft for $55.00 per share or about $1.9B

broadsoft sold for $1.9 billion. See Stockwinners.com for details

Cisco (CSCO) and BroadSoft (BSFT) announced a definitive agreement for Cisco to acquire publicly-held BroadSoft, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, MD. Pursuant to the agreement, Cisco will pay $55 per share, in cash, in exchange for each share of BroadSoft, or an aggregate purchase price of approximately $1.9B net of cash, assuming fully diluted shares including conversion of debt.

The acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of each company.

The acquisition of BroadSoft reinforces Cisco’s commitment to Unified Communications and enhances its ability to address the millions of aging TDM lines poised to transition to IP technology and cloud native solutions over the coming years.

The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of calendar year 2018, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory review.

Prior to the close, Cisco and BroadSoft will continue to operate as separate companies. Upon completion of the transaction, BroadSoft employees will join Cisco’s Unified Communications Technology Group led by Vice President and General Manager Tom Puorro, under the Applications Group led by Trollope.


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Barron’s is bullish on Morgan Stanley and Samsung

Barron’s, the weekly publication owned by the Wall Street Journal, in its latest issue mentions several names: 

Stockwinners offers Barron's review of Stockwinners offers stocks to buy, stocks to watch, upgrades, downgrades, earnings, Stocks to Buy On Margin

 

BULLISH  MENTIONS

Caesars looks ready to grow again – After a disastrous 2008 leveraged buyout, Wall Street seems to have warmed to Caesars (CZR) story this year in a strong market for casino operators, Andrew Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. With a bankruptcy filing settled, the company’s shares have surged this year, and the gambling giant could hit $18, up 50% in the next 18 months, he adds.

Coach shares look undervalued, could rise nearly 30% – Coach (COH), which has announced that it would be changing its name to Tapestry, is finally on the right path to growth, Emily Bary writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. Recent acquisitions and brand-loyalty initiatives should help the company maintain its market share, and in the next 12 months the shares could return nearly 30%, including dividends, she adds.

DowDuPont shares likely to return as much as 30% over next year – If DowDuPont (DWDP) can cut $3B from its yearly costs and attract a higher valuation by splitting into three parts, the shares stand to return 15%-30% over the next year, including dividends, Jack Hough writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s.

Lufthansa has more room to climb – Amid competitor’s troubles, Lufthansa (DLAKY) has scored an “upgrade to first class,” Victor Reklaitis writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. However, several bulls say other factors will be bigger drivers, seeing the stock’s price rising to $35.36 due to a range of tailwinds, and implying a rally of about 20%, he adds.

Another 20% gain in Morgan Stanley stock likely – In a follow-up story, Barron’s says Morgan Stanley’s (MS) strategic response to the financial crisis proves more resilient than others,’ and another 20% gain in the stock is likely.

Samsung has lots of upside driven by chips/screens – Samsung (SSNLF)  stock is up 50% this year and it is still cheap, Assif Shameen writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. While the company is known for smartphones, Samsung lives off semiconductors and screens, with analysts estimating that chips will generate 70% of profits and screens 13%, he adds.

BEARISH MENTIONS

Market pounds United, sees American/Delta as possibly safe bets – United Continental’s (UAL) earnings were bad news for the company, with shares dropping after the carrier reported better than expected earnings but offered guidance that suggested that its fourth quarter earnings would miss, Ben Levisohn writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. While Delta Air Lines (DAL) and American Airlines (AAL) followed their peer lower, their shares did not go much lower, as the Market seems to see the two airlines as possibly safe bets, he adds.

Regulators inquiries fuel speculation about big tech breakup – Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN) and Alphabet (GOOG; GOOGL) deserve a lot of the credit for last week’s record stock market highs but their positive effect will now depend on how they respond to U.S. and European regulators, Tiernan Ray writes in this week’s edition of Barron’s. European inquiries and those from the U.S.’s Federal Trade Commission have prompted speculation about the breakup of these companies, he adds. And it is not only antitrust issues that are in play, as many see the huge amounts of personal data that these companies are amassing as troubling, Ray contends.


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