The shares of SunPower have appreciated well over 150% since the spin-off in spite of the recent sell off. VMware shares more than doubled by the end of October and has since come down to the price at the time of the IPO. The current market capitalization of $6B and $22B for SunPower and VMware respectively exemplify how favorable these acquisitions have been for the parent companies.
The media has constantly speculated on the advantages of owning Cypress and EMC over their spin-offs SunPower and VMware respectively. The perceived benefits are lesser volatility and cheaper ownership. Below is an analysis that assumes a conservative valuation for the parent companies (at one times the revenue) and calculates the discounts realizable on the spin-offs by buying the parent companies instead of the spin-offs:
Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (CY):
*Total 2007 revenue including SPWR was $1.6B.
|Enterprise value of CY at one times 2007 revenue||A||$821.6M*|
|Enterprise value of CY||B||$3.07B|
|Enterprise value of CY attributable to its ownership of SPWR stock||C=B-A||$2.25B|
|Enterprise value of SPWR||D||$5.9B|
|Percentage of SPWR’s outstanding shares owned by CY||E||57|
|Enterprise value of CY’s ownership of SPWR stock||F=D*E||$3.36B|
EMC Corporation (EMC):
*2007 total revenue including VMW was $13.23B
|Enterprise value of EMC at one times 2007 revenue||A||11.9B*|
|Enterprise value of EMC||B||$30.96B|
|Enterprise value of EMC attributable to its ownership of VMW stock||C=B-A||$19.06B|
|Enterprise value of VMW||D||$21B|
|Percentage of VMW’s outstanding shares owned by EMC||E||86|
|Enterprise value of EMC’s ownership of VMW stock||F=D*E||$18.06B|
To recap, owning Cypress over SunPower makes good financial sense. One gets to own a mid-cap semiconductor company at one times the revenue and get exposure to the red-hot solar space at a significant discount. However, EMC in place of VMware is a risky option.