Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) has seen its shares rise handily on Monday on news (rumors really) that the company might be in talks with private equity firms in a possible go-private transaction. All we can say other than that we have heard this before is that if Dell can snag a private equity buyout, you can count on Wall Street to come out with the WHO GETS BOUGHT NEXT questionnaires. With Dell trading at under 8-times projected earnings and a $19 billion market cap even after the big pop today, there are a few others to consider. Logic needs to be considered because the size alone on most of these companies would make such deals ver difficult. That being said, investors looking for cause and effect trades rarely let the facts get in the way of a good story.
Here are several other great tech stocks trading at less than 10-times earnings. We have added color and size on each.
Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) is worth about $12.5 billion and trades at about 6.5-times projected earnings. Rival Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC) is worth almost $11 billion and trades at just under 6-times this year’s expected earnings. Both stocks have recovered to be within a couple percent of their respective 52-week highs. Both Seagate and Western Digital now trade above their consensus analyst price targets.
Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) is yet another discounted value technology stock. At $12.51, its stock is worth about $18.5 billion and trades at about 10-times current earnings and it trades at about 9.4-times this year’s expected earnings. The consensus target price is $14.52 for this stock on its own.
Don’t forget about the down and out Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ). This seems ridiculous on the surface as a buyout with a $33 billion market value considering that this has lost half its value from the peak of 2012 and this was a $50 stock in 2010 before the woes began. HP trades over the consensus price targets and it was featured in our own most overvalued DJIA stocks for 2013. Despite the size, it trades at just over 5-times its expected earnings. If a $20+ billion Dell deal is hard to fathom in dollar terms, imagine a $30 billion to $40 billion deal being put together. AND, don’t hold your breath!
Is Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) even a technology stock any longer? It depends upon whom you ask. Xerox trades under $7.50 and is worth $9.4 billion in market cap. Keep in mind that it just lost its CFO who left to join Apple. Xerox trades at about 7-times this year’s earnings estimates. We would note that the consensus price target here is only $7.50 by analysts.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) is too big to buy for anyone. With a market value of $227 billion after shares were stuck in the mud forever, even if Bill Gates and Warren Buffett somehow decided that they wanted to take the software giant private i would be virtually impossible due to the raw dollar size. This trades at 9.4-times this year’s expected earnings and 8.5-times next year’s expected earnings. At least there is some $60 billion or $70 billion in cash and liquid assets that could be deducted rom the purchase price but this would be a buyout of only fantasy. Processing giant Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) is worth barely over 10-times forward earnings now that its shares have recovered enough in the last two or three weeks. Microsoft was recently featured in our cheapest DJIA stocks as the DJIA is headed for 14,590 this year.
Will ANY of these secondary deals occur if Dell is acquired? It would seem unlikely, but anything has to be considered as at least possible. We don’t think these are acquirable companies as they stand today nor as they stand tomorrow due to the size of the raw dollars involved. That being said, stay tuned.