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M&A Talk Still Swirling Around ArcSight

Stocks in this article: ARST IBM ORCL EMC HPQ CA

Story updated with additional information on rumored ArcSight meeting with employees.

CUPERTINO, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Acquisition rumors continued to swirl around ArcSight (ARST) on Thursday, a week after a news report first surfaced saying the company is on the auction block.

An industry source told TheStreet that the company is holding an "all-hands-on-deck" meeting with employees today, prompting speculation that this could be related to potential M&A. Subequently, the source added that the meeting may now be pushed out until Friday. ArcSight, which reports its first-quarter results after market close, has yet to respond to TheStreet's request for comment.

Word on the Street

Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that ArcSight has put itself in the shop window. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal said that potential buyers, including Oracle (ORCL) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) could pay up to $1.5 billion for the company. EMC (EMC), IBM (IBM) and CA (CA) are also possible purchasers, the Journal added.

ArcSight shares surged on the speculation, hitting a new 52-week high of $39.74 on August 27. The WSJ report, which theorized a deal could happen in the next couple of weeks, said ArcSight expects to fetch $40 a share.

One of's top security stocks for 2010 ArcSight makes security management and compliance software, and was recently cited as one of the sector's most attractive acquisition targets. The TheStreet's 'Breakout Stocks' portfolio has described ArcSight as "one of the most compelling secular growth stories in the market."

ARC Sight

ArcSight only went public in 2008, but has already made a big name for itself, putting out consistently impressive quarterly numbers.

The company's CEO Tom Reilly recently told TheStreet that ArcSight is also on track to reach its target of 18% to 20% operating margin in fiscal 2012.

The software maker has been getting plenty of love on Wall Street and analysts expect the company to post first-quarter revenue of $45.53 million and earnings of 13 cents a share. ArcSight reported sales of $34.6 million and earnings of 9 cents a share in the same period last year.

ArcSight's stock rose 64 cents, or 1.69%, to $38.47 in Thursday afternoon trading, outpacing the broader advance in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq rise 0.45%.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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