Research In Motion’s stock is up 14% this morning on more chatter about an acquisition.
Bloomberg says this is the biggest jump the stock has made since 2009.
We’re not sure how the rumor started, but there’s a good chance it doesn’t end well.
In a note this morning Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu ran through some M&A scenarios for RIM and concluded, “we don’t see any likely buyer out there, and a change in strategy or management is unlikely,” adding, “we recommend investors limit their exposure to the trade now.”
More specifically, he walks through the likely candidates and shoots each down:
- HTC: Doesn’t have the cash.
- Microsoft: Not interested in picking up a hardware company.
- Samsung/Apple: They don’t need RIM, they are just as well off letting it die off.
No mention of Vodafone! Maybe there’s a reason a carrier wants to own its own phone maker, and Ferragu missed it.
He also shot down any idea that an activist shareholder could take on RIM and shake up the company. (He’s probably referring to Carl Icahn.)
The co-CEOs of RIM own 10% of the company. They chose their board members. Good luck wresting control from them.
Our two cents: RIM’s co-CEOs don’t want to sell. So, any acquisition is going to be an ugly fight. Who wants to get into an ugly fight for a declining, but still pricey asset? Anyone?