HP Buyout Talk Sends McAfee Shares Skyward


In a research note, Friedman Billings Ramsey & Co. analysts David Hilal and Daniel Ives said a McAfee acquisition would give HP a major competitive advantage in its ongoing battle with Cisco Systems, as reported by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.

McAfee shares closed Monday trading up 3.6 percent to $41.57. Spokespeople for McAfee and HP couldn't be reached for comment on the acquisition rumor.

The McAfee-HP speculation has been going on at least since 2006, and it's become a scenario not unlike Lucy of Peanuts fame pulling the football away on a Charlie Brown placekick. In March, McAfee CEO Dave DeWalt told Reuters that McAfee wasn't for sale, and in fact would seek to acquire three to four companies per year to build out its technology portfolio.

HP and McAfee last October formed a partnership to integrate the latter's security into the former's networking portfolio. "We're able to bring some new innovative concepts to the network," DeWalt told Channelweb.com in October. "The ability to bring security to the switch, to the router, to the network device that can help prevent intrusion and unauthorized access. These are different ways for us to look at innovating."

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McAfee is still dealing with the wrath of angry customers after last week's botched antivirus update that led to costly downtime for tens of thousands of businesses, school districts, university systems and government agencies.

On Monday, a source familiar with the matter told Channelweb.com that McAfee plans to engage the channel to help with the cleanup effort and provide remediation and other consulting services.