back to article Sun shares sink as IBM deal breaks down

One quick way to make a few bucks this morning, if you happened to read the IT press over the weekend, is to short sell shares in Sun Microsystems, now that the rumoured acquisition of Sun by rival IBM seems to be unravelling. Sun's shares were trading at $8.49 a pop on Friday at the market close, when it seemed likely that a …


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  1. Andy Barber

    Sinclair Research...

    ...Would be a better stable-mate than IBM!

  2. Caff

    SUN U

    With its R&D expenditure why doesn't it build itself a small university campus and instead of paying salaries to researchers get them to pay for their jobs in return for a nice shiny degree or phd?

  3. Britt Johnston

    greetings from Alcatel/Lucent

    the best way for Sun to cut costs is to outsource their IT.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    short selling profit?

    So just how can you make a profit short selling from reading the press at the weekend. You can't trade till the markets open, when they were cheaper than they are now. So you'd have made a loss. Just because the share price was higher at the close of Friday, doesn't mean you can trade at that price.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Britt Johnson

    "the best way for Sun to cut costs is to outsource their IT."

    They outsourced their apps support to CSC some time ago. Maybe they are running out of options?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A stupid move by Sun

    Their stock has now fallen by some 24% and continues to drift downard. This is because the market does not agree with the reporter that the market would be best served by a independant Sun. Indeed, there is almost no chance of Sun surviving as a stand-alone company. And as for their R&D budget, in December they announced that they were slashing it to a mere $900M. That's a rather small budget for a tier one hardware manufacture that must compete with IBM and HP.

    IBM is only outmaneuvering Sun here. Sun should have taken the $9.40/per share and had a small party. They'll get IBM back to the table; they have no choice. Their market cap is now down to 4.8B. If IBM puts out a press release that the deal is completely off, Sun's value will plummet and IBM will be back talking them over for a couple of bucks per share.

  8. steward
    Gates Horns

    It's time for IBM to give Sun a dose of reality

    Before the rumors started circulating, Sun was at $4.97 / share. IBM should withdraw its offer and make a new offer: $5 / share this week, and $4 / share next week.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: OutSource IT

    Sun already outsources a lot of their IT. It has actually made things less efficient -- not more. The problem is management fat layers -- not R&D. Sales is still staffed for huge sales volumes that are not occurring.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Another Yang Moment?

    Mr Yahoo did not want to sell either and look what happened to him and the shareholders that held out.

    OTOH, Microsoft dodged a bullet.

  11. jake Silver badge


    Good article, Tim. The folks in charge over at Sun should read your final two paragraphs and have a good, long cogitate ... before it's too late.

    (What?? It's monday morning and I'm not being pithy or sarcastic? I must see a doctor ...)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Undisciplined, bloated, out-of-control R&D with NO accountability. The red-tape bureaucracy makes it even worse since the projects just blow smoke and the executives just drink the Kool-Aid.

    Eight years since the dot-com bust and there were PLENTY of opportunities for the company to fix the problem. If one look at AMD, NVidia, Apple, etc.. eight years spans multiple product cycles for companies to adjust. Jonathan and the board were all sleeping on the job while enriching themselves with bonuses.

  13. bill stiller

    As far as I know...

    Sun already outsources their IT to CSC as of a few years ago.

  14. tyrone nguyen

    Sun U?

    More like turn the company into a not-for-profit, am I right?

  15. klarien masters

    mcnealy versus schwarz - and the plot thickens.....

    well at least we are finally seeing the colours of the executive management. schwarz is to career minded and probably has a vested interest (read new job) lined up with IBM, mcnealy has all the passion and would have no where to live under new banner. Hey if WSJ can speculate on what amounts to unverifiable information why can't I. And that's interesting in itself, my guess is Sun/IBM would have to somehow vent their activities to alevate any problems with insider trading down the track otherwise we'd know nothing, but then again do we know anything !!!!!! The force is strong withe this one....................

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All Hail The Schwartz

    Sun already outsources IT to CSC... It has cost Sun lots of missed productivity.

  17. Christopher Ahrens Silver badge

    I have only one thing to say....


  18. Anonymous Coward

    Just another ex Sunny

    Sun has needed a new CEO for years. Part of the problem is the engineering mentality of Sun, always looking to invent the next "neato cool thing." Unlike most for profit companies, Sun was always about religion rather than business. “No Microsoft, IBM is the enemy, we invented NFS and Java.” All statements by McNutty and pony tail boy, that had negative impact on the business. Putting technology (religion) ahead of common sense doesn’t work in the business world.

    Then to top it off, the anointed pony-tailed one decided to give away all the corporate IP by open sourcing everything. It seemed to work so well for MySQL and RedHat... Uhhh, yea ya might have checked the market cap of those companies before you tried to imitate those companies. Let's see, about 1B and 3.5B respectively. So, after acquiring MySQL for $1B and STK for $4B and others, what is your cap now oh pony tailed one??? Let me see about $3.5 B, down from $12B, pure genius I say.

    I’m surprised Sun lasted as long as it has. Sun has a TON of smart people… unfortunately almost none of them have a “VP” in their title. Sun needed to bring in an outsider like HP did with Mark Hurd in 2004 instead of appointing the pony tailed one. That was the beginning of the end. Too bad, and it is sad.

    Note: I hold no positions in JAVA. (I shorted them and covered long ago)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ R+D

    Oh, shut up. That "bloated" R+D of yours resulted in clearly highly advanced technologies which are being integrated into recent key Sun products; Sun Storage 7000 (Opensolaris + DTrace + ZFS), Sun Ray VDI 3 (OpenSolaris + ZFS + VirtualBox), and this mystery 14th April announcement probably involves Project Crossbow.

    Jeez, even running OpenSolaris on stock standard x86 hardware is full of win:

  20. Britt Johnston

    re outsourcing @ bill stiller + AC

    I was mumbling an MBA mantra - like all mantras, if you hear it enough, its effect exceeds all bounds of logic.

    If an IT company outsources all of its IT, there isn't much left for the receivers, really.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Schwartz must go. It's that simple

    2000 laid off in September 2008, 6000 more laid off in 2009...

    Rock microprocessor very late to market...KT microprocessor late to market...

    No profit, No products...

    Ever read Schwartz's blogs? The latest catchphrase to spill out of the pony-tailed narcissist

    was "Free is the new black". Someone should tell him that the color of the ink on SUN's books is RED. Free products only work if you can find someone stupid enough to believe that they can monetize your Web 2.0 social networking crapware, something you yourself could not do. (Think Beebo, people).

    Final thoughts:

    It's a real shame that when "King" McNealy lost his bluster, he turned the company over to the court jester. At least McNealy made headlines, and in turn, profits.

  22. David Halko

    SUN lives on to invent another day...

    The writer says, "Sun board has split into two factions. One is led by president and chief executive officer, Jonathan Schwartz, who wants to do the IBM deal... The other is led by Sun founder and chairman, Scott McNealy, who doesn't want to do this particular deal"

    I like both Jonathan and Scott - for different reasons, however. My view of both of them now:

    - Jonathan seems to be more interested open-sourcing everything, leaving SUN with hard assets to sell for cash, rather than in the long term viability of SUN.

    - Scott seems to be more interested in SUN and their existing employees than Jonathan.

    I don't think Jonathan will survive as CEO for long, after showing his colors.

    They need a CEO who lives, eats, and breaths SUN hardware & software - all day long... eats their own dog food... so they can see what they are selling the customers... and quality control with feature enhancement propositions.

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