From tiny acquisitions to massive conglomerate combinations, Wall Street's urge to merge remains strong. How can we tell the dealmakers from the deal breakers?

Breaking down the buildup
For help, we'll turn to the 130,000-plus investors in Motley Fool CAPS. A combination of two companies with high CAPS ratings should bode well for the new firm's future results, while a high-rated company that joins a lower-rated one may benefit one set of investors more than the other.

Despite troubles in the capital markets, the deals won't stop; they simply might involve more stock and less cash. Or, like this week, they might just slow to a trickle. Here are a handful of recently announced deals, and the ratings for each company on CAPS' five-star scale:


CAPS Rating


CAPS Rating

Deal Price



Gmarket (NASDAQ: GMKT)


$1.2 billion



Wireless systems business of Tyco Electronics (NYSE:TEL)


$675 million

Zurich Financial


21st Century Insurance unit of AIG (NYSE:AIG)


$1.9 billion

Express Scripts


NextRx unit of WellPoint (NYSE:WLP)


$4.68 billion



Tulsa refinery of Sunoco 


$65 million

Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB)


Jackson Products



CAPS ratings courtesy of Motley Fool CAPS; NR = not rated.

Into it deep
"To market, to market to buy a fat pig; home again, home again jiggety-jig." It's a nursery rhyme day for eBay and Gmarket.

The online auctioneer is paying $24 a share for the South Korean e-commerce marketplace, adding another card to its deck of online retail marts. Gmarket will join eBay's pair of aces -- want-ad service Craigslist, in which eBay holds a sizable minority stake, and South American Internet bazaar MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI), of which it owns 18%. The auctioneer looks like it's finally getting its house in order, dealing away StumbleUpon and returning the misplayed Skype to the discard pile through an IPO.

eBay may actually be able to achieve synergy benefits by buying Gmarket. According to estimates, Gmarket and eBay's affiliate Internet Auction Co. account for some 37% of the online auction experience in Korea; the combined company will be the largest player in that country, and may give eBay a springboard for a big push throughout Asia.

This international expansion has investors interested. CAPS member cjlee001 thinks it's a necessary step to jump-start the auctioneer:

I think the CEO is taking necessary steps to promote growth in this flatlining company. The bid for Gmarket and spinoff of Skype are strategic moves for global expansion and core business concentration.

A value-added offer
What's your take on these deals? Let us know on Motley Fool CAPS. While you're there, you can start your own research on these or other stocks. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made, all from a stock's CAPS page. There's more than you think.

Gmarket and MercadoLibre are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. eBay is a Stock Advisor pick. eBay, Tyco, and WellPoint are Inside Value selections. Kimberly-Clark is an Income Investor recommendation. MercadoLibre is a Global Gains selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.