Forget what you think you know about Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) . The database king is no longer. Instead, Oracle has transformed itself into an infrastructure supplier whose assets now include Acme Packet, Inc. (NASDAQ:APKT) .
Yesterday, Oracle announced plans to acquire the upstart telecom equipment maker for $29.25 a share -- or $2.1 billion -- in cash. The purchase price amounts to a 22% premium over Friday's close.
For me, the buyout offers too little and comes too late.
Two years ago, I recommended the stock for our Motley Fool Rule Breakers service. It's been an underperformer since. Only recently has the stock recovered -- up 84% since August -- on hopes that session border controllers, or SBCs, would prove vital for connecting voice calls over LTE networks. MetroPCS Communications Inc (NYSE:PCS) turned to Acme Packet for precisely this sort of help in November.
Now Oracle takes over, adding the company's SBC technology to its portfolio as investors question the move. Here are three thus-far unanswered questions that may help to explain why Oracle fell nearly 3% following the announcement:
Will Acme Packet bring value to Oracle shareholders? The deal isn't exactly a bargain at 37 times estimated earnings. But that's also over the short term. On the other hand, Acme Packet's SBC technology is central to efforts to make Internet telephony every bit as sturdy as the analog network we've used for the better part of a century.