Friedman Billings Ramsey & Co analysts speculate HP may acquire anti-virus company McAfee to strengthen its presence in security and develop a competitive edge:
Trading of bullish McAfee Inc. options jumped to the highest in almost a decade after Friedman Billings Ramsey & Co. said the second-biggest maker of security software may be acquired by Hewlett-Packard Co. The shares gained the most in more than two months.
“The addition of McAfee would significantly strengthen the company’s presence in security and develop a competitive edge” on rival Cisco Systems Inc., analysts David Hilal and Daniel Ives said of Hewlett-Packard in a report today. “We expect M&A activity to accelerate” in the software industry in 2010 and 2011.