Shares of Diebold Inc. have fallen sharply this week on the news that United Technologies Corp. was no longer pursuing an acquisition of the automated teller machine company.
Diebold, of North Canton, Ohio, said Monday that the conglomerate had withdrawn its offer. Diebold also reaffirmed its 2008 earnings guidance of $1.52 to $1.62 per share on Monday.
The Hartford, Conn., company's unsolicited February offer of $40 per share, a 66% premium, drove up Diebold's shares into the high $30 range, where they remained through the summer. Tuesday afternoon they were trading at $27.23, down 5.09% from Monday's closing price. They were trading as low as $24.30 on Monday before rallying at the close.
Diebold spokesman Michael Jacobsen said Tuesday that the decline in the share price was a result of the overall decline in the stock market rather than any fundamental change in Diebold's condition. He said "the company's board is confident that we remain on the right path."
Diebold's board refused to consider the February offer, saying it undervalued the company.
However, because Diebold was involved in an accounting audit at the time, it was delinquent in its earnings reports, and outside analysts were unable then to verify the claim.
When Diebold did release some of its figures, in August, several analysts concluded that the company was worth about $40 per share, and that any buyout offer would need to be higher to be seriously considered.
Gil B. Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities, concurred Tuesday that Diebold's shares have "basically gone down with the market," and he said that at the current price, the "stock is still significantly undervalued."
However, he also noted the United Tech has been interested in Diebold for some time. He said he "wouldn't be surprised" if it came back with another offer, possibly in the $40 range again.
"If I was a shareholder now, I would regret not pushing them to accept the $40 offer six months ago," Mr. Luria said Tuesday.
Mr. Jacobsen said that, though the board is obligated to consider any offers, it would base its decision less on the current stock value than on its economic position. He said "there is no interest on the company's part to seek any kind of deal" in that price range.