This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Dell Ups Turnaround Bet With $2.4B Quest Deal (Update 1)

"The addition of Quest will enable Dell to deliver more competitive server, storage, networking and end user computing solutions and services to customers," said John Swainson, president of Dell Software Group.

For more on Dell M&A, see why the company's unheralded M&A is moving it beyond the dying PC market.

"[The] most important investment theme around the Dell story is the Company's continued migration to higher-margin, enterprise products and services that are focused on serving the next generation data centers that are paving a path into the cloud," wrote Tokepa Capital Markets analyst Brian White in a Monday note to clients. White adds that while recent deals for Perot Systems, WonicWALL and Compellent strengthened Dell's IT services, security and storage businesses respectively, Quest Software is the company's biggest push in software and represents a platform to grow the business to $2 billion, as management has forecast.

As of 2011, Quest earned $857 million in revenue at an operating margin of 11%. With Quest, Dell will add the company's 1,500 software sales reps and 1,300 developers to its existing software business that earned $1.2 billion in revenue in 2011.

Morgan Stanley (MS) advised Quest Software during its "go shop" period, which has extended a highly watched private equity buyout drama. With Dell's bid, Quest Software's takeover premium now stands at over 50% to its shares prior to Insight's initial $23 a share March 8 bid.

In Monday trading, Quest Software fell over 1% to $27.75, while Dell shares rose under 1% to $12.55. year-to-date, Dell's shares are off nearly 15% on falling PC orders and weaker than expected earnings.

Dell's software push may come at turning point for the sector. In a Monday sector overview, Jefferies analysts cut expectations for Qlik Technologies (QLIK), Parametric Technology (PMTC) and Check Point (CHKP), citing slumping IT spending in Europe and the U.S.

In June, Deutsche Bank analyst Tom Ernst downgraded his price targets for a string of software companies including Adobe (ADBE), Salesforce.com (CRM), VMware (VMW) and Intuit (INTU) on expectations for a slowing of economic growth in the second half of 2012, which will impact business spending on software. Ernst nevertheless points to Salesforce.com, Bazaarvoice (BV) and Impreva (IMPV) as top growth stocks in the sector, with Microsoft (MSFT), Nuance Communications (NUAN) and Guidewire (GWRE ) as the sector's best defensive names.

Still, the software sector is rife with speculation that tech giants looking to diversify from PC and hardware sales will buy software specialists like Quest and BMC Software (BMC) as M&A heats up in the sector.

For more on software and tech M&A see why Salesforce.com and tech giants are staking M&A bets on Facebook. Also see why a BMC Software hostile investor sheds new insight on whether deals can happen amid a cloud software boom and hardware gloom.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,083.80 -2.83 -0.02%
S&P 500 1,987.98 +0.97 0.05%
NASDAQ 4,472.1080 -1.5890 -0.04%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs