Shares of specialty software vendors like MicroStrategy and Qlik Technologies rose sharply early Monday as investors contemplate Oracle's retaliation for SAP's $3.4 billion bid for SuccessFactors.
With $41.6 billion in cash and investments, Oracle, the No. 1 leader in database technology, might be prone to acquire still another company to burnish its role in fast-growing business analysis software.
Shares of SuccessFactors soared 51 percent to $39.70, just below the $40 German-based SAP said it will acquire the San Mateo, Calif.-based developer of software intended for use for cloud computing.
To be sure, Oracle previously announced plans to acquire RightNow Technologies of Bozeman, Mt., for $1.5 billion shortly after buying private Endeca Software, of Burlington, Mass., for a sum estimated by Nomura Securities as high as $900 million. In the past, the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company headed by founder Larry Ellison has challenged a bid made by Oracle and won a bidding war. That happened with Retek, a specialist in retailing software, that agreed to sell itself to SAP for $496 million and finally succumbed to Oracle's $631 million offer.
Shares of MicroStrategy, a business intelligence software specialist, rose more than 5 percent to $127.50 while Qlik Technologies jumped more than 7 percent to $30.94 Tibco Software, yet another enterprise software developer, saw 4.5 percent gain in its shares, to $28.85.
Oracle shares, meanwhile, rose more than 2 percent, to $31.87.
Other companies in the sector, such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM, have acquired private and public software companies in the enterprise and business analytics sector this year.
HP just closed the $10.5 billion acquisition of Autonomy while IBM bought i2Technologies, a private British software developer, for an undisclosed sum as well as Algorithmics, a Canadian developer, for $387 million.
With billions in cash lying in technology company treasuries, other private software developers might receive bids, such as SAS Institute, the Cary, N.C. statistical analysis specialist, or Information Builders, the New York-based developer of WebFocus.
SAP's ADRs, meanwhile, fell 33 cents, to $59.16, giving the German software company a market capitalization of $70.4 billion, compared with Oracle's $161.3 billion.