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   Strategies & Market TrendsSpeculating in Takeover Targets


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From: richardred10/27/2010 10:37:57 AM
   of 6990
 
U.S. Companies Hoarding Almost $1 Trillion in Cash
October 27, 2010, 5:57 am

American companies are hoarding almost $1 trillion in cash, but are unlikely to spend on expanding their businesses and hiring new employees because of continuing uncertainty about the strength of the economy, Moody’s Investors Service says.

As the economy stabilizes, companies are also more likely to spend on share repurchases and mergers and acquisitions, Moody’s said on Tuesday.

Nonfinancial companies are sitting on $943 billion of cash and short-term investments, as of the middle of the year, compared with $775 billion at the end of 2008, Reuters said, citing Moody’s. This would be enough to cover a year’s worth of capital spending and dividends and still have $121 billion left over, it said.

Only 20 companies hold a large portion of corporate cash balances, with $346 billion on their balance sheets, or 37 percent of the total, Moody’s said.

Cisco Systems has the largest cash balance, at $39.86 billion, while Microsoft is second with $36.79 billion, Moody’s said. Google has the third-largest balance with $30.06 billion, followed by Oracle with $23.64 billion and Ford Motor at $21.89 billion.
dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com

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To: Brasco One who wrote (2483)10/27/2010 3:29:32 PM
From: Brasco One
   of 6990
 
where is the excitement on MEE here?????

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To: Brasco One who wrote (2488)10/28/2010 6:41:05 PM
From: Skywatcher
1 Recommendation   of 6990
 
there is no excitement over YOUUUU here

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To: Skywatcher who wrote (2489)10/29/2010 10:26:30 AM
From: Brasco One
   of 6990
 
how is your SC playing this year? LOL!!!

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From: richardred10/29/2010 11:57:58 PM
   of 6990
 
Google acquisition tally hits $1.6 billion

By John Letzing, MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Google Inc. spent at least $1.6 billion on a streak of relatively small individual acquisitions during the first three quarters of this year, according to a regulatory filing made by the company Friday.
Google said in the quarterly filing that apart from its $681 million purchase in May of mobile-phone advertising firm AdMob Inc.; its $179 million deal for social-networking software developer Slide Inc. in August; and the $123 million its paid for online video-compression firm On2 Technologies Inc. in February, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company spent some $626 million in 37 other, smaller purchases between January and September.

Google executives have been candid about their desire to snap up a number of companies as part of an acquisition binge this year. The search giant has emerged from the recession with a series of strong quarterly financial reports, and has ambitions to expand into areas other than its mainstay online-advertising business — which still accounts for about 97% of Google’s revenue.
Facebook enters the lobbying fray

Facebook, which has been bolstering its political influence as it grows in popularity, has made an initial foray into lobbying in its home state by targeting a specific privacy bill. John Letzing reports.

“We’re at least on a path of one [acquisition] per month and we should expect that to continue,” Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said during a conference call with analysts following the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report, back in January.

In its regulatory filing Friday, Google said that for all of the purchases it made this year through the end of September, the patents acquired have a “weighted average useful life” of just more than four years.

Customer relationships gained through the acquisitions, meanwhile, have a weighted average useful life of 3.3 years, the company said.

While Google has developed its core business of search advertising internally, other promising initiatives have been obtained through acquisitions.

Its increasingly popular Android mobile-phone operating system, for example, was obtained through Google’s purchase of Android Inc. in 2005.

Google bought video service YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006. It disclosed recently that it’s monetizing, or making advertising revenue, from more than 2 billion video views on YouTube per week.

On Friday, Google announced that YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley is stepping aside as chief executive of the video service. “I will continue to serve in an advisory capacity and am excited to witness the next phase of YouTube’s growth,” Hurley said in a statement.

Shares of Google ended the week down fractionally at $613.70, and are flat for the year to date. In comparison, the Nasdaq Composite Index /quotes/comstock/10y!i:comp (COMP 2,507, +0.04, +0.00%) is up 10%.
marketwatch.com

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From: richardred10/30/2010 12:02:21 AM
   of 6990
 
Microsoft to Acquire 3-D Chip Firm Canesta
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Microsoft (MSFT_) has agreed to acquire Canesta Inc., a private Sunnyvale, Calif.-based developer of electronic perception technology.

Canesta has announced the deal in a statement on its Web site, and Microsoft later confirmed it in an email to TheStreet

"Microsoft has long pursued a vision of natural user interface," the statement reads. "Canesta has developed some interesting technology for sensing gestures that complements advances already underway at Microsoft."

A New York Times report on the deal said that Microsoft has used a Canesta rival's technology in its Kinect add-on for X-Box consoles, and part of Microsoft's emailed statement went on the offensive to head off any conclusion-jumping about why it was making the deal.

"We have a long history of investing in this technology, and this acquisition is just part of that long-term strategy, not for any specific product in the future," the statement reads.

Financial terms of the deal, which Canesta said is expected to close by the end of the year, weren't disclosed.

Shares of Microsoft closed Friday up 1.5% at $$26.67 after the Dow component reported better than expected earnings for its fiscal first quarter after Thursday's closing bell. Year-to-date, the stock is still down almost 14%, although it's made a strong move above its 50-day moving average of $24.93 of late, rising in 15 of the last 19 sessions dating back to Oct. 4.

"There is little question that within the next decade we will see natural user interfaces become common for input across all devices," said Jim Spare, the president and CEO of Canesta, in a statement. "With Microsoft's breadth of scope from enterprise to consumer products, market presence, and commitment to NUI, we are confident that our technology will see wide adoption across many applications that embody the full potential of the technology."

Canesta has developed 3-D sensing semiconductor technology in its Canestavision chips and has been granted 44 patents to date, according to its Web site.

--Written by Michael Baron in New York.
thestreet.com

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To: richardred who wrote (2484)10/31/2010 11:11:57 AM
From: richardred
   of 6990
 
Savient Pharmaceuticals: Attractive Opportunity With Catalysts on the Horizon
by: James May October 31, 2010

On October 25th 2010, Savient Pharmaceuticals (SVNT) issued a press release stating that efforts to find a strategic transaction for the sale of the company did not result in the sale of the company at this time. Facing seemingly unquantifiable uncertainty, investors sold off about 50% the company’s market capitalization immediately following a trading halt. With Savient shares below the low end of their range prior to Krystexxa approval, a logical assessment of the company’s independent value, and consideration of the reasons a deal may not have been reached provides medium term investors with a compelling opportunity.

Arthritis Today and Dr. Badrul Chowdhury, M.D., director of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Rheumatology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research both support a U.S. market potential for Krystexxa of around 90,000 patients. The company estimates there are 172,000 candidates for Krystexxa treatment within the U.S. On their October 26th conference call, Savient president, Paul Hamelin addressed the concerns of some analysts regarding limited market potential,

… if you look at allopurinol prescriptions to give you an idea of where patients reside, 80% of allopurinol is prescribed at the primary care level and we know from our work there, there are a number of tens of thousands of patients sitting in primary care that have chronic gout that’s refractory to conventional therapy and they have high numbers of flares annually and tophi. But there has been no reason up until now for the primary care physicians to refer them to the rheumatologist because all they are going to get at the rheumatologist is allopurinol.

A complete transcript of the October 26th conference call is available here.

While there is wide consensus that Krystexxa remains a valuable property, maximizing its potential value remains the company’s primary challenge. Given management’s decision to simultaneously pursue both Krystexxa launch and strategic alternatives, the company is prepared to market Krystexxa on its own. The treatment of a disproportionate number of gout patients by a relatively small percentage of physicians, limited necessary infrastructure, and positive talks with potential payers all point towards a successful launch with meaningful market penetration.

Krystexxa’s status as an orphan drug for a debilitating condition provides Savient with significant pricing power. Arthritis Today estimates pricing above $20,000/year, while Prescriptionsolutions.com (A UnitedHealth Group Company) estimates pricing of $30,000-$50,000/year, and Gene Mack of Soleil Securities estimates pricing of $25,000 to $49,000.

Considering that Savient maintains patent protection on Krystexxa into 2026, I believe a valuation of 2.25X peak sales conservatively values the company. Modeling 30,000 patients at $30,000/year provides 900 million in annual sales. Positive global demographic trends, European sales, and the potential for sales beyond the U.S. and Europe, may prove these numbers to be very conservative.

There are several potential positive catalysts on the horizon. On November 5th, the Company will report third quarter results and hold a conference call to discuss their financial condition. While Savient may need to raise a modest amount of cash to support the Krystexxa launch, I do not expect significant shareholder dilution. In December, the company will announce pricing and will launch the drug. In January, the company will deploy its full sales force, and file for European acceptance.

In light of management’s view of a large potential market for Krystexxa, and positive fundamental developments, it’s easy to imagine an asking price above $40. We know that at least two interested parties came to the table following Krystexxa’s FDA approval with the stock trading around $20. As management continues to assess all available strategic options to maximize shareholder value, the stock remains highly compelling at current levels.

Disclosure: Author is long SVNT
seekingalpha.com

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To: richardred who wrote (2466)10/31/2010 11:32:19 AM
From: richardred
   of 6990
 
CyberKnife Radiosurgery for Early-Stage Breast Cancer
May Offer Reduced Infection Risk and Improve Cosmetic Results
prnewswire


Press Release Source: Accuray Incorporated On Sunday October 31, 2010, 8:30 am EDT

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Accuray Incorporated, (Nasdaq: ARAY), a global leader in the field of radiosurgery, announced today studies underway at two leading academic institutions using CyberKnife radiosurgery in breast cancer treatment. These two studies, from the University of Texas Southwestern and Fox Chase Cancer Center, will be presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in San Diego from October 31 to November 4.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women and the second leading cause of cancer death. Typically, women with early stage, localized breast cancer are treated with a lumpectomy, also known as breast conserving surgery, followed by radiation to ensure any remaining microscopic cancer cells are treated. It has been shown that women receiving radiation following surgery have more than a 15 percent reduction in recurrence rates as compared to women who did not receive radiation after their tumors were surgically removed(1).

Initially clinicians delivered radiation to the whole breast following surgery, but over the last decade a more limited radiation approach has gained interest among clinicians and patients. This approach, called partial breast irradiation, can be as effective as whole breast irradiation and is less likely to damage to the heart, lungs, and skin, leading to improved cosmetic outcomes and reduced toxicities.(2)

Partial breast irradiation can be delivered in a number of ways, including invasive options, such as MammoSite, which involves surgical implantation of a catheter in the breast to deliver interstitial brachytherapy, or non-invasive radiation therapy options such as 3D conformal or intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).

Each technique has its advantages and drawbacks: For example, invasive brachytherapy can cause infection, hematoma or abscess(3-4). While non-invasive radiation therapy approaches minimize such risks, studies have demonstrated that the larger margins required to compensate for treatment inaccuracies, such as those caused by the movement of the breast with respiration, result in a higher risk for overdosing the skin and nearby critical structures such as the heart and lungs(5-7). One recent study investigating IMRT for partial breast irradiation found 7 out of 32 evaluated patients developed unacceptable cosmesis, leading to premature closure of the study(5).

Because of the non-invasive delivery and high precision that the CyberKnife System offers in treating tumors throughout the body, clinicians see a role for it in breast cancer treatment. The CyberKnife System has the unique ability to not only track tumor movement during respiration, but to also lock onto the tumor as it moves delivering radiation directly to the tumor and avoiding damage to surrounding critical structures. The CyberKnife System's extreme precision enables clinicians to reduce the treatment margins that are often added with conventional IMRT Systems. For this reason, clinicians believe partial breast irradiation using the CyberKnife System holds the potential to improve toxicity and associated side effects for patients.

"We think that the real-time tracking and high conformality made possible with the CyberKnife System could result in reduced toxicity by reducing the dose to the surrounding breast tissue, skin, chest wall, lung or heart," said Charlie Ma, Ph.D., Professor and Vice-Chairman, Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center.

University of Texas Southwestern recently launched a multi-center early stage breast cancer protocol, which is currently accruing patients. UTSW was one of the first five CyberKnife sites in the world and has remained on the forefront of clinical research.

Physicians at UTSW intend to demonstrate equivalent local control rates or to improve those seen in current treatment for early-stage disease while attempting to increase convenience, limit invasiveness, decrease toxicity and improve cosmesis compared to other methods of radiation treatment. The treatment regimen using the CyberKnife System would be five days compared to 25-30 days typically associated with conventional radiation therapy.

"In particular, we believe a very abbreviated, non-invasive, outpatient treatment would be considered a favorable option to underserved populations of women living in more remote areas for whom longer courses of treatment pose a barrier," said Robert Timmerman, M.D., professor of Radiation Oncology at UTSW and lead author of the ongoing study.

(1). Fisher B, Anderson S, Bryant J, Margolese R, Deutsch M, Fisher E, Jeong J-H, Wolmark N. Twenty-year follow-up of a randomized trial comparing total mastectomy, lumpectomy, and lumpectomy plus irradiation for the treatment of invasive breast cancer. New England Journal of Medicine 2002; 347:1233-1241.

(2). Wadasadawala T, Sarin R, Budrukker A et al. Accelerated partial-breast irradiation vs conventional whole-breast radiotherapy in early breast cancer: A case-control study of disease control, cosmesis, and complications. Journal of Cancer Research & Therapy 2009: 5:2 93-101.

(3). Watkins JM, Harper JL, Dragun AE, Ashenafi MS, Sinha D, Li J, Cole DJ, Jenrette JM 3rd. Incidence and prognostic factors for seroma development after MammoSite breast brachytherapy. Brachytherapy. 2008;7:305-9.

(4). Evans SB, Kaufman SA, Price LL, Cardarelli G, Dipetrillo TA, Wazer DE. Persistent seroma after intraoperative placement of MammoSite for accelerated partial breast irradiation: incidence, pathologic anatomy, and contributing factors. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006;65:333-9.

(5). Jagsi R, Ben-David MA, Moran JM, Marsh RB, Griffith KA, Hayman JA, Pierce LJ. Unacceptable cosmesis in a protocol investigating intensity-modulated radiotherapy with active breathing control for accelerated partial-breast irradiation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010;76:71-8.

(6). Vicini FA, Chen P, Wallace M, Mitchell C, Hasan Y, Grills I, Kestin L, Schell S, Goldstein NS, Kunzman J, Gilbert S, Martinez A. Interim cosmetic results and toxicity using 3D conformal external beam radiotherapy to deliver accelerated partial breast irradiation in patients with early-stage breast cancer treated with breast-conserving therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007;69:1124-30.

(7). Livi L, Buonamici FB, Simontacchi G, Scotti V, Fambrini M, Compagnucci A, Paiar F, Scoccianti S, Pallotta S, Detti B, Agresti B, Talamonti C, Mangoni M, Bianchi S, Cataliotti L, Marrazzo L, Bucciolini M, Biti G. Accelerated partial breast irradiation with IMRT: new technical approach and interim analysis of acute toxicity in a phase III randomized clinical trial. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010;77:509-15.

About the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System

The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System is the world's only robotic radiosurgery system designed to treat tumors anywhere in the body non-invasively. Using continual image guidance technology and computer controlled robotic mobility, the CyberKnife System automatically tracks, detects and corrects for tumor and patient movement in real-time throughout the treatment. This enables the CyberKnife System to deliver high-dose radiation with pinpoint precision, which minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue and eliminates the need for invasive head or body stabilization frames.

About Accuray

Accuray Incorporated (Nasdaq:ARAY - News), based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is a global leader in the field of radiosurgery dedicated to providing an improved quality of life and a non-surgical treatment option for those diagnosed with cancer. Accuray develops and markets the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System, which extends the benefits of radiosurgery to include extracranial tumors, including those in the spine, lung, prostate, liver and pancreas. To date, the CyberKnife System has been used to treat more 100,000 patients worldwide and more than 206 systems have been installed in leading hospitals in the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.accuray.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

The foregoing may contain certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including uncertainties associated with the medical device industry. Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including statements relating to clinical evidence and clinical results are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statements are made and are based on information available at the time those statements are made and/or management's good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events. You should not put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual performance and results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements we make include: clinical applications, clinical outcomes, potential results of clinical studies, competing products, the combination of our products with complementary technology; and other risks detailed from time to time under the heading "Risk Factors" in our report on Form 10-K for the 2010 fiscal year which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, filed on August 31, 2010. The Company's actual results of operations may differ significantly from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements as a result of these and other factors. We assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual performance or results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information, except to the extent required by applicable securities laws.
finance.yahoo.com

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To: richardred who wrote (2066)11/1/2010 9:57:28 AM
From: richardred
   of 6990
 
McKesson to acquire US Oncology in $2.16B deal
McKesson to buy US Oncology in $2.16 billion deal that includes privately held company's debt

On Monday November 1, 2010, 8:33 am EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- McKesson Corp. said Monday it will acquire US Oncology in an all-cash deal it valued at $2.16 billion.

McKesson, a San Francisco medical company that specializes in pharmaceutical supplies, said it will buy all the outstanding shares of US Oncology. The deal includes US Oncology's outstanding debt, which McKesson said will be repaid or refinanced.

US Oncology is a privately held company based in The Woodlands, Texas. It is affiliated with more than 1,300 oncologists and works with the health care industry in cancer research.

McKesson said the move would increase its reach into the growing cancer-treatment industry.

"McKesson and US Oncology's businesses are highly complementary, providing our collective customers access to more services and solutions that will enhance their ability to deliver advanced cancer care," Paul Julian, McKesson executive vice president and group president, said in a statement.

Bruce Broussard, US Oncology's chairman and CEO, will lead McKesson's specialty care solutions business. He will report to Julian.

US Oncology will continue to operate under its brand name.
finance.yahoo.com

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From: richardred11/1/2010 10:39:54 AM
   of 6990
 
IBM Said to Have Approached Security-Systems Maker Fortinet About Takeover
By Serena Saitto and Peter Burrows - Nov 1, 2010 9:41 AM ET



Sam Palmisano, president and chief executive officer of International Business Machines Corp. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg
Fortinet CEO Ken Xie

Fortinet Chief Executive Officer Ken Xie. Photographer: Kim White/Bloomberg

Fortinet Inc., a maker of network- security systems, has received a takeover approach from International Business Machines Corp., according to two people close to the situation.

Fortinet is working with Morgan Stanley and exploring its strategic options, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks haven’t been made public. Discussions with IBM may be at an advanced stage, one person said, though a deal could still unravel. Fortinet rose as much as 23 percent in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.

The company, with a market value of $2.14 billion based on its closing price Oct. 29, focuses on all-in-one systems that keep networks secure, and it caters to companies ranging from small businesses to large phone carriers. IBM Chief Executive Officer Sam Palmisano has said he plans to spend about $20 billion on acquisitions in the next five years, adding tools to deliver cloud-computing services via the Internet, as well as software to help customers analyze data.

“Fortinet’s focus on enterprises, services providers and government entities maps particularly well against IBM’s existing client base and should help broaden the company’s solution set for and appeal in new and emerging markets,” said Charles King, principal analyst at research firm Pund-IT in Hayward, California. The company would give “potential suitors an immediate leadership position in the increasingly business- critical threat-management market.”

IBM, the world’s largest provider of computer services, approached Fortinet six to eight weeks ago, according to one of the people.

Stock Surge

Ed Barbini, a spokesman for IBM, declined to comment, as did Rick Popko, a spokesman for Fortinet, and Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Mary Claire Delaney.

Fortinet, based in Sunnyvale, California, went public a year ago and its shares had gained 71 percent this year before today amid speculation that it might become an acquisition target. It climbed $4.02, or 13 percent, to $34.02 at 9:38 a.m. in Nasdaq trading, after climbing as much as $6.77.

IBM, based in Armonk, New York, was little changed at $143.62 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

Fortinet almost doubled net income to $14 million in the third quarter from $7.89 million a year earlier, as sales jumped 29 percent to $85 million. The company raised $156.3 million in its November initial public offering, the first by a Silicon Valley startup in almost two years.

Filling Gaps

IBM and other companies, including Hewlett-Packard Co., Oracle Corp. and Intel Corp., are using takeovers to add technology that can help them cater to corporate customers building data centers to handle a Web-traffic boom.

“IBM’s move is part of a bigger trend where technology companies are trying to fill the gaps in their portfolios,” said Rajesh Ghai, an analyst at ThinkEquity LLC in San Francisco. “Fortinet is growing very fast, and IBM is looking at high-growth companies also because the return on cash on a balance sheet is very low.”

IBM has spent more than $20 billion on 100 purchases since Palmisano took over in 2002, as he shifts IBM’s focus to software and services from hardware. His largest takeover was business-management software maker Cognos Inc., for $5 billion.

To build up its data-center technology, HP agreed to spend $2.35 billion in September for the money-losing storage maker 3Par Inc., after an 18-day bidding war with Dell Inc. more than tripled 3Par’s share price.

To contact the reporters on this story: Serena Saitto in New York at ssaitto@bloomberg.net; Peter Burrows in San Francisco at pburrows@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles@bloomberg.net; Jennifer Sondag at jsondag@bloomberg.net.
bloomberg.com

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