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The rally in
in the wake of its $3.1 billion deal opens the door for so many merger ideas, it's almost ridiculous to say. Qualcomm already has a big leg up in the mobile space with hits hammerlock on the 4-G biz, and this
deal gives it networking capabilities for Bluetooth and other wireless networking technologies. The fact that the Street is lapping the thing up tells you that if you move more aggressively into the mobile internet tsunami space, your stock's going to soar,
even if you are already are exposed to it
Qualcomm-Atheros is a blueprint for others that need to get in, particularly
, two laggards that everyone seems to have given up on. Sure Intel, has bought McAfee, a deal the Street didn't like, but I think that is short-sighted, because I like security plays. Over time, Cisco bought Tandberg and Scientific Atlanta, both deals accomplishing not enough to move the needle, to say the least, although they are integral to the company's "in the home" end-to-end solutions.
That said, here's a laundry list of companies that, if they were bought, would send these acquirers higher:
- Acme Packet (APKT) for cell-phone cross-talk.
- Netgear(NTGR) - Get Report, for a similar in-the-home chit to Atheros.
- Cirrus Logic(CRUS) - Get Report for sound boards in tablets.
- Motricity (MOTR) for solutions to big telco providers' cell problems.
- And if you want to go big, Akamai(AKAM) - Get Report for streaming video and Nvdia(NVDA) - Get Report for graphics chips, and Arm Holdings (ARMH) for Apple(AAPL) - Get Report tablet exposure. All of these could produce a similar rally in Intel or Cisco that we are getting in Qualcomm.
Of these, the toughest would be Akamai, Nvdia and Arm Holdings, because all of them could not be purchased for less than $10 billion. But it's pretty obvious that right now anything goes in M&A for this sector. What's a shame is that the most likely company to do all of this is the forward-thinking
, a stock that was down at one point because the Qualcomm-Atheros combo is viewed as a threat to it.
But the rally says Broadcom will embrace M&A and go higher still.
One other thought: If
were ever to admit that it has fallen behind in so many of these areas, it, too, could get into the M&A fray with all of that cash. But that doesn't seem to be the Microsoft way, even though I am confident that if it wants to get above $30, it should be pulling the trigger left and right.
Are these fanciful? If I were at my old hedge fund, I would be buying deep-in-the-money calls on all of these and would simply bet that when I get hit with one or two of them, they will pay for all of the buys and then some.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long INTC.
Jim Cramer, founder and chairman of TheStreet.com, writes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's RealMoney and runs the charitable trust portfolio,
. He also participates in video segments on TheStreet.com TV and serves as host of CNBC's "Mad Money" television program.
Mr. Cramer graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where he was president of The Harvard Crimson. He worked as a journalist at the Tallahassee Democrat and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, covering everything from sports to homicide before moving to New York to help start American Lawyer magazine. After a three-year stint, Mr. Cramer entered Harvard Law School and received his J.D. in 1984. Instead of practicing law, however, he joined Goldman Sachs, where he worked in sales and trading. In 1987, he left Goldman to start his own hedge fund. While he worked at his fund, Mr. Cramer helped start Smart Money for Dow Jones and then, in 1996, he founded TheStreet.com, of which he is chairman and where he has served as a columnist and contributor since. In 2000, Mr. Cramer retired from active money management to embrace media full time, including radio and television.
Mr. Cramer is the author of "
," "You Got Screwed," "Jim Cramer's Real Money," "Jim Cramer's Mad Money," "Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life" and, most recently, "Jim Cramer's Getting Back to Even." He has written for Time magazine and New York magazine and has been featured on CBS' 60 Minutes, NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams, Meet the Press, Today, The Tonight Show, Late Night and MSNBC's Morning Joe.