WEBSENSE

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With tech security companies popular M&A targets for the likes of Intel ( INTC) and HP ( HPQ), there has been talk that Websense could continue this trend.

"At some point Websense might be attractive," said Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies. "I think that there are various deep-pocketed acquirers out there that could be looking at properties like this."

There has already been speculation that HP would be the most logical suitor for Websense. The tech bellwether is expected to make more acquisitions in both software and security, particularly after HP CEO Leo Apotheker recently highlighted the security challenges of cloud computing.

With a market cap of $1 billion, Websense would certainly be within the reach of cash-rich HP, which spent on $1.5 billion on security software specialist ArcSight last year.

"Given the potential for some improvement in the fundamental story along with the potential for Websense to be a consolidation candidate, we remain constructive on the shares," explained analyst Todd Weller of Stifel Nicolaus, in a recent note.

The Symantec rival continues to attract attention thanks to its software for securing Web, email, mobile and social networking data.

The San Diego-based firm was recently upgraded from hold to buy by TheStreet Ratings, thanks to strong recent revenue and profit growth, as well its return on equity.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers.

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