Is RIM On The Block?

Could Microsoft buy RIM? Well, "Research In Motion has lost so much value that an acquirer could pay a 50 percent premium and still buy the BlackBerry maker for a lower multiple than any company in the industry," Bloomberg reports. As a result, BMO Harris Private Banking thinks it's likely that Microsoft, or perhaps Dell, will make a go.

The lucky buyer "would get a smartphone maker that is still dominant among corporate clients, offers greater security with its own e-mail servers and generates more free cash versus its market value than any of its rivals," Bloomberg notes. "Paying $40 a share still values RIM at a discount to comparable companies in the industry."

Hard to believe, but RIM was once worth $83 billion before falling more than 80% from its record three years ago. Last week, RIM said quarterly sales may drop for the first time in nine years, while its stock closed on Monday at $25.89 a share -- or 4.7 times earnings next year. "That's less than any communications-equipment provider," reports Bloomberg, citing its own data.

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