Crusoe robs ARM of chip wunderkid status

Classic momentum stock out-momentumed

ARM Holdings, the fabless wonder, has seen its share price falter on uncertainty over the impact that Transmeta’s Crusoe chip will have on its business. This morning, ARM shares fell 158 pence to £28.60. Merrill Lynch has "repeated its 'buy' rating and £54 stg price target for ARM Holdings, advising investors to pick up the stock on any weakness, dealers said" AFX reports. Crusoe prolongs battery life and reduces power consumption through software, and Transmeta claims this is more efficient and much cheaper than doing it through silicon (which is the ARM way). Transmeta isn’t specifically gunning for embeds -- ARM’s speciality -- but there's has to be an opportunity or two here. ARM is a classic momentum stock, and is by, most orthodox criteria, wildly overvalued (the company’s market cap peaked last month at £7.5 billion). But why should Transmeta cramp ARM’s style? For every dollar Transmeta has spent on developing Crusoe, it’s going to have spend eight or nine in building OEM channels, promoting the technology, and developing a worldwide infrastructure. An IPO would easily take care of Transmeta’s cash requirements, but all the money in the world won’t get it customers in a hurry. ARM, by contrast, has dozens of major OEM contracts in place. And these are not going to unravel overnight. If at all. ®

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