Friday, September 30, 2011

Are Intel (INTC) (MSFT) (HPQ) (DELL) (NOK) (RIMM) (CSCO) Tech Dinosaurs?

According to Berenberg Bank analyst Adnaan Ahmad, tech giants like Cisco Systems (CSCO), Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT), Nokia (NOK), Hewlett Packard (HPQ), Dell (DELL) and Research in Motion (RIMM) may be the next dinosaurs of the tech world.

Ahmad said, “Intel, Microsoft (MSFT), Hewlett Packard (HPQ), Dell (DELL), Nokia (NOK), Research in Motion (RIMM) and Cisco Systems (CSCO) et al could face the same plight as the tech dinosaurs (née titans) of yester-year.”

He wasn't completely negative on the sector, noting the turnarounds by IBM (IBM) and Apple (AAPL), which faced similar problems in the past.

Especially worrisome for Ahmad were RIM, Intel and Dell, which he says RIM and Intel are in denial or Dell has no idea where it's going.

On why some of these tech companies have been able to survive against past failures, Ahmad said this:

My take is that the tremendous cash balances and cash flows of these companies have allowed them to survive in ways that DEC and Tandy, and Commodore and Data General and Wang Labs could not. Also, the rise of leverage in the last two years has allowed them to merge and acquire, and thereby morph, in ways never dreamed of when tech companies were primarily driven by a single product or product family.
I also think Nokia is making the right decisions, and even though they're going through a tough transitional stage, lowering costs and commiting to Microsoft's platform for their smartphone should make them a much stronger competitor. A strong balance sheet has helped them navigate through the choppy waters as well. The question is execution for them, and if they can, the stock could take off again. It appears investors are ready to push it up once they start releasing new smartphones into the market.

Some failures Ahmed pointed out were Sun, Yahoo (YHOO), Lotus, Polaroid and Kodak (EK).

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