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

Breaking down the buildup
To help, we'll turn to the 125,000-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. Here are a handful of recently announced deals, and the ratings for each participating company on CAPS' five-star scale:


CAPS Rating


CAPS Rating

Deal Price



SiRF Technology (NASDAQ:SIRF)


$136 million

Western Union (NYSE:WU)


Money transfer unit ofFexco


$159.5 million

Live Nation (NYSE:LYV)




$2.5 billion

Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN)


CICLON Semiconductor Device



Rockwell Automation  


Rutter Hinz


$35 million



WKD Solutions



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

SiRF's down
The GPS industry spawned a number of winning technologies and companies over the past few years, but its recent commoditization has led many of those stocks to collapse. Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN), for example, has suffered as location-aware technology proliferates. Even though its rivals can't match Garmin's sophistication, the company's still had to shift its hopes toward becoming a smartphone seller. Whether the Nuvifone can be a game-changer remains to be seen.

Those same forces are slamming into GPS chipmaker SiRF Technology, whose market share faces incursions from both Texas Instruments and Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM). First-quarter revenue was a disaster for SiRF, plunging 50% year over year. Still, investors found a safe haven in the company's announcement that it would sell itself in an all-stock deal.

Almost one year ago exactly, CAPS All-Star member lBluttol made a prediction fated to come true: "I say that SIRF is an absolute screaming buy here if only for one compelling reason: SIRF is now dirt-cheap and a prime takeover candidate."

Playing in the margins
When you're planning to announce a major event, drawing unwelcome attention to yourself is not the wisest of business moves. Ticketmaster, on the verge of a major merger, could hardly have picked a worse time to get into public trouble. The company allegedly shunted some fans who were trying to buy tickets to a Bruce Springsteen concert to an affiliated site, which sold the tickets at prices much higher than the face price.

In addition to drawing the ire of Springsteen fans, as well as the Boss himself, the company's gotten the attention of several members of Congress, who now view the planned merger with Live Nation with a jaundiced eye. The Justice Department is also looking into the merger, but a check for antitrust compliance is perfectly normal for a deal this big.

CAPS All-Star member EggplantWizard figures the deal would pay off for Live Nation: "If the merger is allowed, this is one of the few mergers that should work very well. Bad for consumers, good for the bottom line."

A value-added offer
What's your take on these buyouts-to-be? 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.

Garmin is a Global Gains recommendation. Western Union is a Inside Value selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services 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.