If Oracle, which has traditionally spent lavishly to buy other software companies along with the occasional hardware vendor like Sun Microsystems, is looking for more hardware, what are some targets?
Co-president Mark Hurd said after first-quarter results came out last week the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based database giant is looking for more hardware companies.
CEO Larry Ellison has never shied away from an acquisition. During an investor call last week, he said Oracle wants to sell as many products with its own IP as possible.
With cash and investments of $31.7 billion, Oracle could set its sights on plenty of companies.
Oracle makes frequent and large acquisitions, UBS analyst Brent Thill wrote after the earnings release. Still, he rates it as a Buy, with a $37 price target. Oracle now trades around $30.20.
Until this week's recovery, technology stocks had been savaged this year. Through Sept. 23, the Nasdaq 100 Technology Index had declined about 13 percent.
Here are some likely and unlikely Oracle targets:
Hewlett-Packard. There have been suggestions that amid its turmoil, HP might be an Oracle target. The company co-developed the chips for the Itanium servers that run Oracle software. Mark Hurd was CEO of the Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP until last year.
But even with its shares near their 10-year low, HP's market capitalization remains $48.1 billion and its enterprise value $57.9 billion.
That would be a leap for Oracle, whose own market cap is $153.8 billion and enterprise value is $137.6 billion. Also, buying HP would bring it with the world's biggest printer and PC businesses, along with the company's advanced servers and storage products. But they could be spun off or sold. New CEO Meg Whitman said the PC spinoff is still under study.
Teradata. Now independent again as one of the premier data warehousing companies, the Miamisburg, Ohio-based company enjoys wide acceptance in banking, finance, transportation and government. As part of NCR, which Hurd led before leaving for HP, he ran Teradata for three years.
Teradata's market capitalization is only $9.7 billion. Enterprise value is $8.9 billion. The shares are trading close to their yearly high of $62.71.
ARM Holdings. This is the British semiconductor company whose chips are in every iPhone and iPad because of the desire of Apple Chairman Steve Jobs to find desirable non-Intel suppliers.
ARM is a designer, lacking its own foundries, which means its entire business is IP. As Apple launches its Apple Could and comes out with new products for it, Oracle might be a very happy owner of this IP portfolio and share a bit in Apple's growth as it accelerates its own position in the cloud.
ARM's market capitalization is $12.46 billion; its enterprise value is $11.54 billion.