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3Com subject of takeover speculation

Stock rises on rumours, but company could still be a bargain

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Struggling NICs-to-handhelds vendor, 3Com, could be on the brink of being taken over, if latest industry rumours are to be believed. Computer Reseller News (CRN) is reporting speculation that Nokia, Ericsson, Lucent, Siemens and even Apple are in the frame and ready to swoop. In fact, it cites "any company interested in gaining a foothold in the data-communications market" as being potential suitors. 3Com’s stock rose yesterday off the back of these rumours - the third Friday in a row when take-over talk boosted its stock. Even so, 3Com still looks like a bargain. Its stock’s 52-week high of $51 1/8 is still a long way off from yesterday’s closing price of $26 7/16. CRN reported Giga Information Group analyst Jim Slaby as saying: "The rumors (sic) are very credible. I think now is the right time to do it." Earlier this month, 3Com shed 150 jobs and restructured its business units in an attempt to limit the damage being done by its low-margin product sets. ®

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