"Business-to-business" (B2B) was a buzzword that quickly became buzzkill. Yet, there are companies that are making a business out of B2B, such as QRS
QRS specializes in the retail industry, which involves a complex web of relationships among marketers, manufacturers, and distributors. Traditionally, trading among these players has been conducted by manual processes.
Well, QRS saw an opportunity and built software solutions to automate the complexities. Customers include biggies such as Federated Department Stores
Despite the success, QRS is still a relatively small business. In the second quarter, the company posted revenues of $29.2 million, which was actually down from $30.6 million in the same period a year ago. Net income was $1.5 million, compared with $1.8 million in the same quarter a year ago.
In fact, QRS is like many other companies in the software industry: solid technology with a core customer base, but stalling growth.
This situation makes a company such as QRS an attractive buyout candidate, and in mid-June, it agreed to sell out to JDA Software
But, in the past week, two new bidders have made plays for QRS, one of which has not been disclosed. As for the other bidder, it is a group that includes the founder of QRS and is backed by the private equity firm of GTCR.
No doubt, this juiced the stock price of QRS. But investors need to be careful. The two new bids may be stalking-horses, meant to force the hand of JDA to pay a higher price.
Keep in mind, though, that JDA has been successful for a reason: It does not overpay for acquisitions. So, don't expect a bidding frenzy in this deal.
Fool contributor Tom Taulli is the author of The EDGAR Online Guide to Decoding Financial Statements . He does not own shares in any of the stocks mentioned.