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Acacia's Lucrative Web Patents

Shares of Acacia Technologies (ACTG), have doubled, to 14.69, since they were featured in this column in mid-December. The company, which controls 47 patent portfolios covering transmission and receipt of digital content, has room to run. The stock has yet to reflect recent licensing deals, says Harris Hall of Singular Research, the only analyst who follows the company. He rates it a "buy," with a 12-month target of 17. On July 5, Acacia signed a pact with General Electric's (GE) GE Healthcare, the 26th pact since March. Other licensees include Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Hewlett-Packard, IBM (IBM), Intel (INTC), Lenovo Group (LNVEY), and Nokia (NOK). Hall expects more deals before other patent-infringement lawsuits filed by Acacia go to trial later this year, including one against Microsoft (MSFT). Already, Acacia has licensed its video-on-demand technology to 300 cable-TV and Web companies, including Walt Disney (DIS) and Bloomberg. Sony (SNE) and Matsushita (MC) have settled suits on audio enhancement. Hall expects Acacia to earn 56 cents a share on revenues of $90 million in 2007, vs. his estimate of a 2 cents loss in 2006 on $41 million.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, neither the sources cited in Inside Wall Street nor their firms hold positions in the stocks under discussion. Similarly, they have no investment banking or other financial relationships with them.

By Gene G. Marcial

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