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The Game Has Changed: 10 Tech M&A Ideas That Could Happen In 2016

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The Game Has Changed: 10 Tech M&A Ideas That Could Happen In 2016
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2015 has been an unprecedented year of merger and acquisition activity.

Back in September, CNBC noted that "Globally, M&A activity has reached a value of $3.24 trillion year-to-date, just shy of the record $3.43 trillion reached by this point in 2007." According to Dealogic, M&A volume in November 2015 totaled a monthly record high of $606.6 billion, up 7 percent on the previous monthly record of $567.1 billion set in October.

FBR & Co. said in a flash note out Thursday morning that it doesn't see this coming to an end anytime soon -- especially in the technology sector. The research firm said the Dell/EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) merger back in October has changed the game across the tech landscape.

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Image credit: Dealogic

"It also speaks to the influence an activist such as Elliott can have when investor frustration is boiling and a company/management team/board is on the 'innovation treadmill' with earplugs in," the FBR note said. The firm cited slow growth, changes in customer behavior, secular challenges and increased competition as reasons to expect a "material pickup in M&A activity for 2016 given an accelerating shift to the cloud/next-generation datacenter and large stockpiles of cash earning virtually no returns."

Instead of "fretting about valuations," tech companies will need to be more aggressive in 2016. Here our FBR's top 10 M&A ideas:

  • Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) and NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP)
  • Cisco and FireEye Inc (NASDAQ: FEYE)
  • International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Splunk Inc (NASDAQ: SPLK)
  • IBM and Qlik Technologies Inc (NASDAQ: QLIK)
  • HP Inc (NYSE: HPQ) and Box Inc (NYSE: BOX)
  • HP Inc and Qlik
  • Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) and Verint Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNT)
  • Oracle and NetSuite Inc (NYSE: N)
  • Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Imperva Inc (NYSE: IMPV)
  • Microsoft and Qualys Inc (NASDAQ: QYLS)

Latest Ratings for BOX

DateFirmActionFromTo
Jan 2017Wells FargoInitiates Coverage OnOutperform
Sep 2016Mitsubishi UFJInitiates Coverage onNeutral
Jun 2016JP MorganDowngradesOverweightNeutral

View More Analyst Ratings for BOX
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