GO
Loading...

Halftime: Is HP Trying To Poach Apple?

Shares of Apple dropped $20 at the open Tuesday after word hit the Street that HP was going after Steve Jobs in a big way.

Specifically, the stock tanked on speculation HP was courting Apple COO and heir apparent Tim Cook to replace Mark Hurd as its new CEO.

Poaching Cook is particularly troublesome for Apple investors because he served as Apple’s interim chief when the health of Steve Jobs was called into question not too long ago. He's widely considered Apple's next leader.

But don’t get all worked up just yet.

Gleacher analyst Brian Marshall tells us not to believe a word of it. ”Those rumors are definitely false,” Marshall says emphatically in an exclusive Fast Money interview.

Tim Cook Rumors False

As you may have read in Barron’s, the Gleacher analyst has spoken with Tim Cook personally -- but only on the Halftime Report did Marshall reveal exactly how that conversation went down.

Marshall was at his favorite coffee shop when he "ran into Tim and told him he was on TV talking about IBM but everybody wanted to talk about Apple" and the rumors that he was heading over to HP as its new CEO.

“He kind of chuckled and said hey I love Apple it’s in my blood. I’m not going anywhere. Apple is in my blood.”

In other words rumors that Cook is about to jump from one ship to another are "definitely false.” In fact, if and when Steve Jobs should ever step down “I think Tim Cook is the guy who marches the troops forward at Apple,” Marshall says.

Then Who Replaces Mark Hurd

Well, now we know who won’t replace Mark Hurd. But is HP looking to poach Apple? According to Marshall, probably not -- well not Apple, anyway.

Marshall tells us externally there are two main candidates “Steve Mills from IBM ... and Mike Capellas the former CEO of Compaq who's now the CEO of a cloud computing joint venture Acadia.

But he doesn’t think either one of those guys is truly a contender.

"I think HP is looking more closely at two internal candidates, " he says. They are Todd Bradley and Ann Livermore. "I think we will see the next CEO of HP come from the internal list.”

With investors expecting shares of HP to pop on the CEO announcement, does an internal candidate carry enough panache?

Marhsall says yes. “I think there’s a lot of negativity in HP shares at $41. The next incremental data points should be positive. I think fair value is $50.”

"I agree that fair value is $50 for HP, says Fast Money contributor Patty Edwards. "I don’t think HP would have made the recent acquisitions if there wasn’t confidence in the bench."

Elsewhere in Tech

We couldn’t let Brian Marshall go and not ask him about all the M&A frenzy happening in tech – especially those sharp increases in the share price of both NetApp and F5 due to takeover speculation.

Marshall tells us “ I do think there’s a fair amount of acquisition premium built into these names but I don’t think we’re at the top yet.”

”While the valuations may be a head-scratcher, the abilities of these companies to drive synergies with a large company such as IBM, Oracle, HP or a Cisco -- that could drive the pro-forma math.”

-----------

RESEARCH IN MOTION LEADS TECH SHARES LOWER

Elsewhere in tech, it’s safe to say investors were underwhelmed by the new Playbook tablet unveiled by RIM on Monday. Share of the BlackBerry maker led the space lower.

What’s the trade?

The price action in this stock is terrible, muses Steve Cortes. I think tech largely is a dangerous trade right now. The sector is priced for perfection and it doesn’t take much to take these stocks down.

As far as I can tell the Playbook limits the downside in RIM stock, muses Joe Terranova. I wouldn’t look for it to trade lower than $40. And looking at the sector broadly, I think this is the time to be long technology, says Joe Terranova. Tech tends to be a leader in the fourth quarter.

What do you think? We want to know!






______________________________________________________
Got something to to say? Send us an e-mail at fastmoney-web@cnbc.com and your comment might be posted on the Rapid Recap. If you'd prefer to make a comment, but not have it published on our Web site, send those e-mails to fastmoney@cnbc.com.

Trader disclosure: On September 28th, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Terranova Owns (APA), (AAPL), (ARUN), (BMO), (C), (IBM), (HES), (JOYG), (XBI), (FTO), (OXY), (ORCL), (PEP), (POT), (RSH), (SU), (RIG), (UPL), (VRTS); Cortes is short (XLF); Cortes is short (BAC); Cortes is short (LVS); Cortes owns German Treasuries; Cortes is short the British Pound; Cortes is short corn

For Joe Terranova
Terranova is chief market strategist of Virtus Investment Partners, LTD.
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (ABAX)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (ALK)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (AMKR)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (CASS)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (CSVI)|
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (IGE)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (LDR)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (LPHI)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (MGRC)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (NRCI)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (DBV)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (XLB)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (XLP)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (XLY)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (XLF)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (XLI)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (XLU)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (SUBK)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (WDFC)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (YDNT)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (DLUEY)
Virtus Investment Partners own more than 1% of (DRYS)

For Brian Kelly
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (GLD)|
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (GDXJ)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (ATI)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (TIE)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (PCL)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (LPX)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (RAX)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (ANDE)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (GPRE)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital own (TIP)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital are short (XLF)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital are short (IAI)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital are short (FDX)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital are short (BCS)
Accounts managed by Kanundrum Capital are short (HYG)

For Patty Edwards
Edwards owns (AAPL) for clients
Edwards owns (HPQ) for clients
Edwards owns (DELL) for clients
Edwards owns (WMT) for clients
Edwards owns (COST) for clients
Edwards owns (VXX) for clients
Edwards owns (GLD) for clients
Edwards owns (PGM) for clients
Edwards owns (SLV) for clients
Edwards owns (SPY) for clients

For Brian Marshall
***No disclosures***

CNBC.com with wires.

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
FFIV
---
HPQ
---
IBM
---
NTAP
---
BB
---
AAPL
---

Contact Halftime Report

  • Showtimes

    Halftime Report - Weekdays 12p ET
    Fast Money - Weekdays 5p ET