Tue, Jan. 27, 1:05 PM
- Though Intel and several other PC-exposed names have been hammered by Microsoft's calendar Q4 Windows numbers, heavily-shorted AMD (AMD +4.6%) is adding to the Monday gains it saw on a rumor Chinese chipmaker BLX is looking to acquire the company.
- Analyst reactions to the rumor have been mixed. Bernstein is skeptical CEO Lisa Su would agree to a sale so quickly after taking over, and notes Intel's x86 instruction set license to AMD doesn't transfer under a change of control. MKM notes the Chinese government has been looking to grow its chip IP, but isn't sure "AMD’s product capabilities are worthwhile at the moment."
- Nomura observes AMD partnered with BLX back in 2003, and argues the company's IP and talent could appeal to a Chinese buyer. "We believe AMD's know-how in servers and GPU technology (for supercomputing and HPC) could be of great interest to China, which has been trying to develop these technologies internally for years."
- Shares +11% over the last two days. Any attempted acquisition of AMD by a Chinese firm would likely be closely scrutinized by U.S. regulators.
Mon, Jan. 26, 12:03 PM
- A Chinese media rumor that local CPU vendor BLX IC Design Co. is looking to acquire AMD (AMD +4.5%) has given a lift to the beaten-down chipmaker's shares. It doesn't hurt that 129.2M shares (20% of the float) were shorted as of Dec. 31.
- Thanks to low expectations, AMD rallied last week in spite of providing soft Q1 guidance to go with a slight Q4 EPS miss. Today's gains come as Intel sells off due to Seagate's light Q1 guidance.
- Update (3:08PM): Bernstein's Stacy Rasgon is skeptical about the rumor. Among other things, he notes Intel's x86 instruction set license to AMD "does not transfer under a change of control." AMD is now up 6.7%.
Nov. 13, 2014, 8:37 AM
- The WSJ reports Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has reached a deal to buy Israeli cybersecurity/identity-protection software firm Aorato for ~$200M, and plans to announce it today. The paper reported in July a deal was close.
- Aorato's products complement Microsoft's Active Directory enterprise authentication/ID-management software service, since they analyze Active Directory interactions to create user profiles and detect suspicious activity. There could also be synergies with the cloud-based Azure Active Directory service.
- In its latest effort to grow its developer base (previous) and support rival platforms, Microsoft is open-sourcing the server stack for its.NET software framework (underpins many Windows apps), and allowing developers to write server/cloud-based .NET apps for Linux and Mac OS. The move could help .NET better compete against alternatives such as Ruby on Rails and PHP.
- Microsoft has also: 1) Launched a free version of its mainstay Visual Studio 2013 app development suite for non-enterprise users. 2) Previewed Visual Studio 2015, which the company says is "built from the ground up with support for iOS, Android and Windows."
- Microsoft says it will "shortly" reach 10M Xbox One sales, and that sales have tripled since a $50 price cut went into effect on Nov. 2. The latest figures still leaves the One's total sales behind the 13.5M seen by the PS4 as of the end of Q3.
- The pickup in Xbox One sales is a positive for CPU/GPU supplier AMD, which was estimated by IHS last year to receive $110 per unit.
- Update: Microsoft has confirmed the Aorato acquisition. "We are making this acquisition to give customers a new level of protection against threats through better visibility into their identity infrastructure."
Nov. 20, 2012, 8:57 AMIntel (INTC) is paying PC audio hardware vendor Creative $20M to license graphics processor IP held by its ZiiLabs division (once known as 3DLabs), and $30M to acquire ZiiLabs' engineering assets. The purchase could bolster the competitiveness of the integrated GPUs found within Intel's PC and mobile processors - while the company has generally held a PC CPU performance edge against AMD, its GPU performance has trailed. | 6 Comments
Nov. 13, 2012, 4:00 PMMore on AMD: Sources tell Reuters a full-blown sale of the company is "not a priority," but that a patent sale is among the options on the table. There's definitely some logic behind a cash-raising effort: AMD has over $2B in debt on its balance sheet, and the company's deteriorating cash flow situation has led to debt rating downgrades (I, II). | 3 Comments
Nov. 13, 2012, 3:54 PMAMD (AMD +5.5%) soars on a report it has hired JPMorgan to explore strategic options. The struggling chipmaker has frequently been the subject of M&A rumors, but many are skeptical a third party will be interested in acquiring its CPU business, in light of Intel's (INTC) historical advantages in resources and scale. AMD does, however, have a sizable patent portfolio. | Comment!
Aug. 8, 2012, 4:32 PMAMD (AMD +9.5%) rallied in afternoon trading, apparently on M&A speculation. Evercore's Patrick Wang says Qualcomm (QCOM) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) have been mentioned as potential buyers. But would these companies, both of whom develop ARM-based processors, be that interested in an x86 processor developer that's heavily exposed to a weak PC market, and is perpetually at a resource disadvantage relative to Intel (INTC)? 15.9% of AMD's float was shorted as of July 13. | 4 Comments
Apr. 16, 2012, 12:31 PMAMD is one of the companies interested in acquiring MIPS Technologies (MIPS -2.7%), according to BSN, now that the #2 developer of CPU core designs (behind market colossus ARMH) is on the block. Buying MIPS would help AMD reduce its PC dependence, and also fit into its plans to develop chips featuring 3rd-party IP. However, BSN thinks CFO Thomas Seifert, the man said to "effectively run" AMD, could stand in the way. | 3 Comments
Feb. 29, 2012, 4:25 PMMore on AMD/SeaMicro: AMD has formally announced the acquisition, stating it will pay $334M ($281M in cash) for the server maker. AMD touts the value of SeaMicro's high-density server technology in large data center and cloud environments, and says it will use it to "deliver new platforms" to server OEMs, starting in the second half. The chipmaker says the deal will be "accretive to earnings after 2012." (PR) | Comment!
Feb. 29, 2012, 4:06 PMAMD (AMD -2.3%) will soon announce the acquisition of server startup SeaMicro, according to GigaOm. SeaMicro has created buzz by building servers containing hundreds of low-power Intel (INTC) Atom or Xeon CPUs, which in turn are managed by a proprietary chip. Acquiring SeaMicro could create tension between AMD and its server customers, but the startup's technology could also give AMD a means of boosting its tiny share of the server CPU market. | Comment!
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