H-P Confirms EDS Talks, Who's Next? (EDS, HPQ, ACN, CSC, ACS, PER, UIS, ACXM, BE)

As traders look to the news covering whether or not Electronic Data Systems Corporation (NYSE: EDS), there was a release from Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) that confirmed the two companies were engaged in merger talks but there were no assurances that a deal could be reached. As a result, there are many other tech and IT-sourcing companies to look at that other players may take an interest in.  Keep in mind that many of these large tech companies do not want to be involved in being acquired and some of the companies will have stronger takeover provisions.  Everyone of these companies are different, yet all are in overlapping areas.  Here is a handful of names that could fall under that sort of tie-up if the deal comes to pass:

  • Accenture Ltd. (NYSE: ACN), although maybe too large;
  • CA, Inc. (NYSE: CA);
  • Computer Sciences Corp. (NYSE: CSC);
  • Affiliated Computer Services, (NYSE: ACS);
  • Perot Systems Corp. (NYSE: PER);
  • Unisys Corp. (NYSE: UIS);
  • Acxiom Corp. (NASDAQ: ACXM);
  • Bearingpoint, Inc. (NYSE: BE)…..

If we took the mid-point of the pricing at $12.5 Billion we would have a rough share price of $25.00 per share on EDS.  At that rough price, you would have a company that analysts expect to be priced at 18.2 times DEC-2008 earnings and 0.55-times revenue estimates.

Any such deal for EDS would likely have to come in the form of a friendly buyout.  This company doesn’t protect itself as hard as other companies, but Capital IQ does note the following tools the company has:

  • Removal of directors only for cause;
  • Board can change size of members;
  • Advanced Notice for director nominations;
  • Move by 50% of shareholders to remove directors;
  • Board Indemnification;
  • Blank Check Preferred Stock.

EDS is seemingly involved in more aspects of IT outsourcing and consulting than it isn’t.  Because of the rate that IT-workers come and go inside the Indian IT-outsourcing companies and because of laws restricting total foreign ownership in India, we did not include the public Indian-IT operations in this report 

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Jon C. Ogg
May 12, 2008