That was my reaction to the news that NVIDIA
PortalPlayer was hurt by Apple's
So, besides Preface, what else is NVIDIA receiving for its $13.50-per-share offer?
Well, $7.68 per share -- more than half the purchase price -- is sitting on the balance sheet in cash and short-term investments. If you subtract the cash from the offer price you find that NVIDIA is buying PortalPlayer's technology and business for just $5.82 per share ($148 million total). Analysts are guessing that PortalPlayer will generate revenues of $130 million during fiscal 2007 -- so NVIDIA has purchased PortalPlayer for about 1.1 times 2007 sales. Not exactly a steep price, in my opinion.
For that low price, NVIDIA is getting not only the potential of Preface, but a deeper relationship with the most innovative company involved in producing mobile devices, Apple. As I wrote earlier, there is stiff competition among chip makers to win spots in Apple's iPods, and there has been a report that NVIDIA was chosen to provide chips for the next version of the video iPod. Nevertheless, PortalPlayer has worked with Apple for a long time and, as I mentioned above, its chip is used in the current video iPod. This relationship has to be worth something.
So why the low price? Perhaps there's a problem with PortalPlayer's technology, or perhaps Sideshow won't be the hit I expect it to be. If either is true, of course, then PortalPlayer likely made the right decision by selling itself. Until I know that for sure, I reserve the right to remain disappointed.
For related reading:
- NVIDIA to Acquire PortalPlayer (press release)
- PortalPlayer's Sideshow Attraction
- Techwell Didn't Do So Well
- Making Sense of Silicon Labs' Mixed Signals
NVIDIA is a Stock Advisor selection. Microsoft is an Inside Value pick. Take any of our newsletters for a free, 30-day trial.