Investors are wondering what will be the next catalyst to drive stocks. Can you say M&A, baby?
It seems everywhere you turn, headlines about M&A are stealing the spotlight. For example:
- Cisco announced two big acquisitions in two weeks: 1) wireless equipment maker Starent Networks (STAR.O) for $2.9 billion and 2) Norwegian video conferencing maker Tandberg for $3 billion.
- A new report from Irving Levin Associates shows a total of 233 mergers and acquisitions announced in the health care industry during the third quarter of 2009
- Strong quarterly results from JPMorgan were largely generated by the firm’s investment banking business (of which M&A is part). That more than offset losses from credit cards and mortgages.
Of course that's just anecdotal evidence. You can't really call something a trend without crunching the numbers. So we did.
U.S M&A Activity Picking Up
Value No. Of Deals
09 Jun $38.5B 636
09 Jul $30.6B 665
09 Aug $28.0B 507
09 Sep $52.1B 503
09 Oct* $15.5B 160
*Announced Deals Through Oct. 14
What’s the trade?
Despite the passing of CEO Bruce Wasserstein, I like Lazard , says Guy Adami. And I’m also bullish on Blackstone and Greenhill – all these companies stand to benefit from increased M&A.
There was strong bullish options activity in Blackstone, adds Pete Najarian. And I, too, still like Lazard.