Welcome back to Baby Breakerdom! This week's quest to find budding Rule Breakers finds a new program to prevent patent throwdowns, a deal that proves there are still millions to be made in plain vanilla Internet access, and the return of Baby Breaker IPOs.
We kick off this week with IBM
That seems like an extraordinary deal, especially in light of the hundreds of millions at stake in the patent brouhaha that's clouding the future of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion
Next, it's on to New Edge Networks -- a broadband Internet access provider for businesses that was acquired by EarthLink
After weeks of silence, it was suddenly a very busy week in Baby Breaker public offerings. First up this week is Spansion -- a joint venture of Advanced Micro Devices
That's down from earlier projections of $16 to $18 per share, which would have brought in more than $600 million in proceeds. But no one should be surprised. Spansion, after all, hasn't done much in the way of profitable business recently. Indeed, on the whole, the former AMD unit has been rapidly deteriorating.
Take cash flow, for example. According to this filing with the SEC, Spansion booked $324 million in capital expenditures for the first nine months of 2005, which was down substantially from $427 million over the same period last year. But operating cash flow hasn't been able to keep pace. It's come in at a mere $221 million thus far during 2005, putting free cash flow (FCF) at negative $103 million to date. This time last year, Spansion had generated $15 million in FCF. No wonder institutions are treating these shares like my five-year-old son treats girls with cooties.
Next up is Buy.com, which was such a dog of a stock that it had to be taken private in 2001 after destroying billions in shareholder value. The SEC filing doesn't make it clear exactly when the "new" company will begin trading, although this useful IPO calendar from MarketWatch lists this week as the target. There's also no mention of an offering price, but the S-1 says the company owes Buy.com founder Scott Blum $9.6 million and that it intends to use the proceeds from 4.2 million new shares to retire that debt. Do the math, and you'll find that amounts to a minimum price of $2.30 per stub.
Finally, Suntech Power
That's all for this week, which means it's time to say good bye. See you back here next Friday, when we continue the quest for the next ultimate growth stock.
For more Rule-Breaking Foolishness:
- Did you catch last week's cast of Baby Breakers?
- Patience and composure can do a portfolio good.
- Do you know how to buy the right puppies?
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers can say officially that he's never, ever had a real suntan. Really. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can find out what is in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.