The back and forth saga between Broadcom (AVGO) - Get Report and Qualcomm (QCOM) - Get Report has become frustrating for investors. See the below Periscope from TheStreet's Brian Sozzi as evidence of that one.
If you've somehow sidestepped the narrative, this is it in a nutshell: Action Alerts Plus holding Broadcom wants to buy Qualcomm and Qualcomm doesn't want to sell. Qualcomm said in a new letter to shareholders Thursday that it "remains open" to talks with Broadcom.
Sporting a market cap of $94, Qualcomm is too big for Broadcom to go hostile.
Making matters more complicated is Qualcomm's purchase of NXP Semiconductors (NXPI) - Get Report . Interestingly, after Qualcomm upped its offer for NXP, Broadcom actually lowered its offer for Qualcomm.
That's a head-scratcher, yes. But let's look beyond a potential Broadcom-Qualcomm tie-up, because it's looking less likely that the two will ever get together.
RBC Capital analyst Amit Daryanani sees five potential M&A alternatives for Broadcom, a company that he says is in a "unique position."
Daryanani points out that Broadcom generates $9 billion to $10 billion per year free-cash flow and is "almost net debt neutral." Management also does a great job "integrating assets" when they do make acquisitions.
So what companies could potentially be in Broadcom's scopes?
Here's his list, along with the current market cap of each. Keep in mind, any deal would need to include a premium as well:
Microsemi (MSCC) -- $7.3 billion
All of these would be much more attainable than Qualcomm from a financial perspective. Note that the largest is Analog Devices, which is about one-third the size of Qualcomm at the moment.
Either way, though, Broadcom doesn't need to do a deal, it just has the financial flexibility to do so. For this reason, Daryanani keeps Broadcom as "top pick" and maintains his $325 price target.
With or without Qualcomm, Broadcom can can maintain double-digit growth, he contends.
Broadcom stock ended higher by 0.29% at $249.35 Thursday, while Qualcomm tumbled 1.92% to $62.18.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.