) -- Could
(SNE - Get Report)
(AAPL - Get Report)
acquisition target? Shares of the electronics giant rose in the Japanese market on Tuesday following speculation that Sony could be attractive M&A bait.
reports that Sony's stock was up more than 3% at one point Tuesday in the aftermath of a recent
report which touted Sony,
as good fits for Apple.
Such is the intense interest in Apple at the moment, though, that even mere speculation can impact a related stock. An Apple bid for Sony would certainly be a bold move, particularly given the Japanese firm's support for
Android operating system, and would also run counter to the tech giant's largely low-key M&A strategy.
Compared to other Silicon Valley heavyweights such as
, Apple has done relatively little M&A. Its most notable recent deals include buying
, neither of which are considered household names.
Apple, which exited its recent fourth quarter with a
massive $51 billion in cash and marketable securities
, continues to be focus of intense M&A chatter, linked with increasingly high-profile names.
touted as Apple acquisition bait
. Storage specialist
SanDisk(SNDK) has also been mentioned as a possible target
on the strength of its Flash memory technology, which is widely used within Apple's product line.
The recent surge in Apple M&A speculation can be linked back to comments made by Steve Jobs during the company's recent fourth-quarter conference call. Asked by an analyst to explain why Apple was keeping hold of its vast cash haul, Jobs hinted at future acquisitions.
"We strongly believe that one or more very strategic opportunities may come along [and] that we're in a unique position to take advantage of because of our strong cash position," he said. "We'd like to continue to keep our powder dry because we do feel that there are one or more strategic opportunities in the future."
As ever, though, Apple is keeping its exact strategy under wraps, leaving the M&A rumor mill to continue turning.
In morning trading Tuesday, Apple shares were slightly down -- 0.05% to $308.69, mirroring the modest retreat in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq slip 0.68%.
--Written by James Rogers in New York.
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