EMC Shares Up On VMware Spin-out Rumors

Update: you might want to read this article about VMware co-founder Diane Greene leaving VMware before you read this post. Come back, though ;)

Financial analyst Thomas Curlin of RBC Capital Markets upped his rating on the EMC stock to “Outperform” from “Sector Perform”, even as it trimmed the stock’s price target from $21 to a more modest $19. The focus of his call: the prospects for a spin-out of the company’s stake in VMware.

Curlin notes that the company can spin out VMware to shareholders with minimal tax implications starting in early 2009. In his research note, Curlin writes:

“Management recently has suggested it does not plan to spin out VMware, but if the stock remains at current levels, we believe it could be forced to do so by activist shareholders. This possible scenario is a key aspect of our recommendation upgrade as it provides downside protection in a challenging macro context.”

Curlin figures that EMC is trading at a value of about $6.25 ex its stake in VMW; but he thinks the non-VMW business is worth $10-$14 a share. Shares of EMC closed at $15.05.

[Source: Tech Trader Daily]

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