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NetApp Is a Perfect Takeover Candidate

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With borrowing costs at all-time lows, and the demand to create and store all kinds of data increasing, now would be a great time for an acquisition in the technology sub-sector often referred to as "data solutions providers."

When you think of data-management and storage-solutions providers for gigantic databases like the federal government or the largest growing corporate titans, there are only a few names that come to mind.

Although technology stocks are not getting much respect these days (up to this Monday, only Apple (AAPL) seemed to be a must-own tech stock), there are numerous companies that are still very profitable and priced for buying.

Chris Hyzy, who co-manages $334 billion in assets at U.S. Trust, said in a CNBC interview on Sunday, there are pockets of real growth in the technology sector, citing themes in the cloud computing area, mobile payments areas, software and cyber security (which is why I recently presented an article titled "Upside Potential with Cyber Security Stocks").

In the same CNBC interview, it was mentioned that Oracle (ORCL) is one large-cap tech some strategists suggest considering. Art Hogan of Lazard Capital Markets, said the software giant sits in the sweet spot of middleware and software. "The shares are also cheap", Hogan pointed out.

"When you back out the amount of cash they have on the balance sheet, you are looking at a multiple of only nine times," Hogan said. "Obviously a reasonable multiple when the S&P is trading at 14 times."

ORCL has $30.68 billion in total cash as of its last quarterly report and levered free cash flow (trailing 12 months) of close to $12 billion. It has been predatory when it comes to growing by acquisitions in areas that it can integrate in its profit-making business model.

Having recently heard a report on a National Public Radio that founder Larry Ellison purchased the Hawaiian island of Lanai for around $500 million, I wondered if it's about time for ORCL to expand its already vast array of products and services? Perhaps a foray into the data-storage business would empower it to create even more cash flow and earnings per share.
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