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Microsoft’s Next Purchase?

Tuesday, 9 Oct 2007 | 11:36 AM ET

Back in April, on the heels of Google’s buyout of DoubleClick, Cramer predicted that either ValueClick or aQuantive would be the next acquisition for a tech company trying to keep pace with the search giant.

Sure enough, less than two months later, Microsoft swept in and grabbed aQuantive at an 85% premium. But Cramer said he doesn’t think Microsoft is done yet, and the industry bellwether might have its eye on the orphan ValueClick .

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“Microsoft is hungry, and ValueClick could be its next, very pricey meal,” Cramer said.

Apparently, before the Microsoft-aQuantive deal, aQuantive was in merger talks with ValueClick. Now that former aQuantive CEO Brian McAndrews is a key player in Microsoft’s online ad business, there’s a chance he’ll want to take another look at ValueClick, Cramer said.

So what does that mean for investors? According to Cramer, it could be an 86% premium. Using the aQuantive and DoubleClick deals as a model, Cramer figures ValueClick could fetch just under $60 a share on the high end and $34 a share on the low end. With the stock at about $25, that’s a premium of 137% or 35%, respectively. The average between the two is $47, or 86%.

Even if the buyout never happens – and that is a possibility – ValueClick is still in the sweet spot of a thriving industry: internet advertising. So, “you still own a good stock,” Cramer said.

The bottom line? Cramer gives this stock a "triple buy."


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