Rumored Xilinx Bidder Qualcomm Better Off Buying Apple Supplier NXP

Xilinx ( XLNX ) stock rocketed near the close Tuesday on a rumored $15 billion takeout offer, but Cowen analyst Timothy Arcuri says Apple ( AAPL ) supplier Qualcomm ( QCOM ) — often cited as a potential Xilinx buyer — would be better off targeting NXP Semiconductors ( NXPI ). Street Insider first reported the rumor of the offer, citing sources familiar with the matter, but didn’t identify the bidder. Xilinx stock shot up 5.7% near the close Tuesday and was up a fraction in after-hours trading. Arcuri retained his outperform rating and 60 price target on Qualcomm stock. Earlier Tuesday, MKM analyst Ian Ing reiterated his view that Broadcom ( AVGO ) and Qualcomm are potential Xilinx suitors. But Arcuri says Xilinx wouldn’t “move the needle” for Qualcomm, which may not be completely committed to the data center path. Xilinx’s field programmable gate array (FPGA) chips are ideal for data center acceleration, Ing wrote in a research report. “In some ways, Xilinx would clearly accelerate Qualcomm’s data center initiatives, but we wouldn’t view a Qualcomm/Xilinx deal all that favorably for Qualcomm and would much rather see it buy an asset like NXP,” Arcuri wrote in a research report. “This would simply be a huge amount of money to spend for a deal that isn’t transformational.” Acquiring NXP would allow Qualcomm to tap into offshore cash, which wouldn’t be possible in the case of Xilinx, Arcuri noted. And as Xilinx suits up for a FPGA battle against Intel ( INTC ), it’s planning on spending a lot of dough. “If we were Qualcomm, this factor argues it is better off to wait,” he wrote. Still, Xilinx is the singular merchant FPGA player following Intel’s $16.7 billion acquisition of rival Altera late last year, William Blair analyst Anil Doradla noted earlier Tuesday. The rumored takeout bid follows Xilinx’s late Monday analyst day. But Doradla wasn’t too impressed, saying the event “lacked confidence.” Xilinx is focusing on cloud computing, embedded vision, industrial Internet of Things and 5G markets rather than its bread-and-butter wireless and wireline markets.