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Brocade a Top Buyout Prospect for 2013

What's more, Brocade has more than doubled its free-cash flow over the past five years, making this a buy that Cisco can easily justify. Too, a deal like this would help strengthen Cisco's enterprise and cloud position and would also be a good defensive play -- keeping Brocade out of the hands of rivals like EMC (EMC), Hewlett-Packard and even Dell.

As enterprise spending continues to recover, there is a chance that Brocade will begin to see its stock price appreciate a bit more. Also, the company continues to be underestimated when it comes to discussing its preparation for the cloud. To that end, Brocade has taken a slightly different approach toward organization and deployment.

The company understands that networks must be cloud-optimized at every critical point because companies will define not only the application performance but more importantly, the end-user experience.

Nonetheless, I do worry that the bigger names within the sector will add increased pressure. In the meantime, as Brocade continues to trade at these levels, buyout rumors will persist and I expect that Cisco will close the deal in 2013. If it's good enough for Cisco, Brocade should certainly be good enough for investors.

At the time of publication, the author held no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Stock quotes in this article: BRCD, PANW, CSCO, DELL, HPQ, EMC 

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