Barely a week goes by without someone suggesting that DVR manufacturer TiVo is about to be taken over.
Assorted names have been mentioned, not least one or other of the EchoStar family of companies, in EchoStar’s case if only to bring the – now ended – IP litigation to an end. Other would-be ‘buyers’ have included DirecTV, Apple, Amazon and even Microsoft.
But the latest trusted advisor to suggest that TiVo is a takeover target is research firm SNL Kagan. Kagan says, in a blog, that sources close to TiVo suggest that a solid buyout would boost shareholder value, although the current plan – says the TiVo source – is to stay independent.
A couple of days ago, Barron’s financial magazine published a very upbeat report that quoted CEO Tom Rogers that next year (2013) would see TiVo “break even or better”. However, barely hours later TiVo put out an SEC filing denying that Roger’s statement was in any way an official projection, nor did it confirm the figure.
But perhaps Barron’s, TiVo and even Tom Rogers will collectively have the ‘last laugh’ given that the company is sitting on a massive cash pile equal to $7 per share, helped by its numerous successful court cases, and with more to come (probably). It is also fair to say that even though its subscriber numbers have halved over the past couple of years, it is now again making positive progress (helped by players such as Virgin Media).
In other words, TiVo’s IP portfolio alone is likely to have a real value for a forward-thinking player.