Analyst: Apple is Interested in TiVo

Apple Computer is interested in buying digital video recorder (DVR) pioneer and market leader TiVo, according to a Wall Street Analyst.

"What we hear on the street is that Apple is interested in their business and that they are a takeout target," analyst Steven Kroll Jr. of Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. told Reuters.

While the TiVo has become the Macintosh of the DVR market, with its users often described as die-hard and fanatical fans, the company has been viewed harshly by Wall Street because of its inability to grow its subscriber base fast enough to become profitable.

This was ameliorated somewhat when the company reported last week that it had added 698,000 subscribers, bringing its total subscriber base to more than 3 million.

Still, concern about TiVois subscriber base has resulted in the companyis stock losing much of its value in the last 12 months, falling from a 12-month high of US$10.80 per share in March 2004 to as little as $3.40 per share in recent weeks. Today, the stock jumped some 20% in heavy trading as rumors of a potential takeover from Apple swept the Street.

Other companies, including media giants Time Warner and Comcast, and its erstwhile satellite TV partner DirecTV have also been discussed as potential suitors in recent months, but none of those rumors moved the stock like todayis talk of Apple.

Reuters also listed Sony and Liberty Media as being mentioned as potential suitors.

TiVo CEO Mike Ramsay, who recently announced he would step down from that position, has repeatedly said his company was not for sale, but the companyis low market cap of $354 million has fueled takeover speculation.

There is more information in the full article at Reuters.

*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a small share in both APPL stock and TIVO stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.