You know, I've been talking about what an attractive buyout candidateTIBCO Software
The numbers were very good. Revenue of $147 million and GAAP earnings per share of $0.03 both exceeded the top end of the official guidance range by a slim amount. Sales grew 17% compared to the year-ago period. Net income, on the other hand, dropped from $0.05 per share last year. Fading earnings don't greatly concern me, though -- especially when operating cash flow grew by more than 40% to $60.2 million, which is more than 10 times the $5.5 million net income. Cash is still king.
So what about the change of heart on TIBCO's acquisition prospects? Last quarter, CEO Vivek Ranadive described his company as the Switzerland of infrastructure software, and that description is starting to ring true. As the sector consolidates, with mature players such as Oracle
"It's good for us because customers want to go to a neutral party," Ranadive said back then. He noted that the HR department is getting "flooded with resumes" from experienced software salespeople as the company expands globally. "And not surprisingly," he said, "Oracle and BEA Systems
It all makes sense, too. TIBCO's key strength, after all, is that its business-management platforms have the ability to tie together disparate and possibly disorganized business-software components into a coherent and manageable system.
If the Switzerland analogy weren't enough, Ranadive also called his company "the VMware
If a neutral market position gives TIBCO the power to sneak in and be the glue between installations from other vendors, then the company might be better off alone. Then again, there are other cash-rich and deal-hungry technology companies that don't yet have much of a stake in this middleware environment. EMC