Wall Street on Oracle's PeopleSoft bid

Oracle's announcement that it's making an unsolicited bid for the rival software vendor bumped up PeopleSoft stock 18 percent. Analysts say that may require a higher bid.

Margaret Kane Former Staff writer, CNET News
Margaret is a former news editor for CNET News, based in the Boston bureau.
Margaret Kane
2 min read
Oracle's announcement Friday that it is making an unsolicited bid for rival software vendor PeopleSoft may have prompted one reaction Oracle CEO Larry Ellison wasn't counting on: PeopleSoft's stock climbed 18 percent to $17.82.

That's not necessarily good news for Oracle, which may have to raise its bid of $16 per share.

This is a sampling of reports from Wall Street analysts about the offer.

"We believe Oracle is pursuing the deal because of (1) the competitive threat from SAP and (2) to bolster their lagging applications business and leverage their infrastructure position."

--Patrick Snell and Daniel Leben, Robert W. Baird & Co.

"The deal will have a rough time getting done at $16 per PeopleSoft share. We are inclined to think discussions will begin starting Monday that could involve a higher tender offer for the shares of PeopleSoft. Given that the ownership of PeopleSoft is highly concentrated among roughly the top 5 holders of PeopleSoft stock, the decision will come down to those holders, in our view."

--Jason Kraft and Jamie McCarthy, A.G. Edwards & Sons

"Oracle's reputation in the application market is well known, and a quick spot check with PeopleSoft customers and contacts this morning indicates a general distaste for potentially having to deal with Oracle."

--Kraft and McCarthy, A.G. Edwards

"We view the acquisition as a financial plus for Oracle--the company said the acquisition would be accretive starting the first quarter of combined operations, and we believe there are significant cost-savings opportunities from combining the companies' operations."

"Oracle announced a $16 per share all cash tender offer for PeopleSoft; the 6 percent premium leads us to think a higher bid will be necessary for a deal to close."

--Brent Thill, Prudential Securities

"We think this indicates consolidation as the preferred choice for growth in the current challenging market. We think the timing of the offer was prompted by PeopleSoft's offer to acquire J.D. Edwards, announced Monday."

--Thill, Prudential Securities

"Given PeopleSoft's modest valuation, and the small premium proposed by Oracle, we believe that Oracle is in a no-lose situation. We believe Oracle is banking on the prospect that no alternative bidder will emerge (we tend to agree with this). If Oracle can buy PeopleSoft at a reasonable price, they substantially increase their market share and eliminate a competitor. If Oracle is unsuccessful, the bid in any event heightens the perception that PeopleSoft is in trouble and creates further confusion among customers/prospects in the wake of PeopleSoft's pending deal for J.D. Edwards."

--James Mendelson, SoundView Technology