Thursday, 25 November 2010

Collateral triangles


Every war has, besides its expectable casualties, additional damages that could not be avoided, predicted or foreseen.

In recent wars, the term “collateral damages” has been coined to justify or explain these unexpected damages.

We see a potential collateral damage to a company that has nothing to do, in principle, with the Oracle-SAP case, which is Hewlett-Packard. As much as its current CEO, Leo Apotheker, used to be CEO at SAP, and as much as he was a potential witness to the case, but managed not to show up, this could impact HP’s reputation somehow.

Now, at the same time, we are able to see a potential second collateral effect which might benefit both SAP and HP.

Should SAP shares lose enough value due to the trial’s verdict, it could be a potential good move for HP to do a little M&A with SAP… Still, a careful move to make, as it would be a very special situation for the former SAP CEO to acquire SAP precisely, when SAP just recently came out from the trial like it did.

Nothing against an ex-CEO to purchase as CEO somewhere else his former company. After all, HP PSG’s head, Todd Bradley, used to be CEO at Palm, and Palm is now part of HP, isn’t it? It’s more about the triangle made of SAP Ex-CEO now HP CEO – Trial – Shares losing value…

Interesting theory in our opinion, definitely worth blog posting.

The missing crook


President Richard Nixon stepped down from office in 1973 after the arch-famous Watergate scandal. He basically had been responsible for having placed illegal systems to spy the Democrat Party.

Despite his attempts to defend his case with his famous “I’m not a crook” quote, he was over.

The Oracle-SAP trial that has ended so far with the jury’s verdict of a $1.3 billion to be paid by the latter to the former, and has been based on some sort of spying the arch-enemy too. We guess that, as in 1973 the internet was not so developed, no downloading of anything was really possible at that time.

The only conceptual difference we are finding between Watergate and SAP-gate is the missing crook. We have no one taking full accountability for the theft, and standing up to try to defend himself declaring he is not a crook.

The Pontifex Maximus at the oracle, aka Big Mouth Larry, certainly has tried to make Leo Apotheker, former SAP CEO, to take the Nixon role, but the latter swiftly avoided to serve as a witness before the jury.

Now, what might have the perception of Leo Apotheker in the market been? It could very well be a bad one, meaning that his no-show might have created an impression of cowardice or having something to hide. Should this be the case, it could very well impact HP seriously as well.

After the recent announcement by HP of its latest quarterly results, HP shares came up quite sharply, so good the results were compared to expectations. The day after, almost all the gains have been lost again, leaving HP’s share value halfway between Monday’s closure and Tuesday’s opening. Could it eventually have happened because having SAP been fined so much, the market thinks Leo Apotheker had something to do with that?

We do not have, of course, any proof of any involvement at all of Leo Apotheker in the TomorrowNow case. And we do not intendo to suggest he has the slightest guilt. However, we still think it could very well happen that people could think the way we described.

What suggests as well that HP should be cautious and careful about this, and keep an eye open to avoid being “collaterally damaged” by this verdict. HP is not completely unlinked to the case, at least from a market perception perspective.