Apple On Acquisition Run But Nuance Still Cold

12/17/13 11:58AM EST

Apple On Acquisition Run But Nuance Still Cold Apple On Acquisition Run But Nuance Still Cold

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Nuance Communication Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN) is a favorite of many tech stock buyers. The company is the maker of voice recognition technology behind many of the most popular voice lead applications out there. Its projects include Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) personal assistant Siri and its fans include Apple fan Carl Icahn. After the recent acquisition run at Cupertino investors in Nuance may be hoping Apple brings some of its cash pile their way.

Apple’s big shopping spree hasn’t been all that big. The company has, however, been unusually active in recent weeks. The two big names linked to Cupertino were Kinect sensor maker Prime Sense and Topsy. Neither acquisition is likely to have been in the billions, but Apple rarely splurges on smaller companies. Nuance may seem an obvious choice for a buy, but that doesn’t mean Apple is interested.

Carl Icahn Doesn’t Drive Apple Decisions

It has become painfully clear that Carl Icahn does not have the kind of influence over Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) that he’d like. His attempt to convince the company to buy back up to 150 billion of its own shares has ground to a  halt in anticipation of a shareholder vote, and there seems little the hedge fund manager can do to shift the company’s opinion in the short term.

Carl Icahn is a wealthy man and a powerful man, but Apple has him beaten on both fronts. The company will listen to his advice, but it will not follow his will blindly.

Rumors that Icahn was buying into Nuance Communications in order to influence Apple into acquiring the company were never taken all that seriously, but they certainly lead to hope among the company’s investors. Carl Icahn boosted his stake in the company to about 19.2 percent of the outstanding float. Nuance is worth a total of $4.5 billion. There are reasons for Apple to stay away from the business, and they may be more compelling than any gain Icahn could achieve.

Apple Not Looking At Nuance

It appears that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is not going to acquire Nuance Communications any time soon. The company is not in the habit of making large acquisitions, and it’s certainly not in the habit of buying big public companies from their shareholders. Apple doesn’t seem to want Nuance technology all that much. If it did the company would have bought it years ago.

Nuance Communications is an interesting company with important proprietary technology. The firm is interesting, and Carl Icahn’s involvement makes it worth a second look, but that doesn’t mean that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) should buy it, and it certainly doesn’t mean that it will buy it. There’s a reason that Nuance Communications is still cold. Apple is just not that interested.

Disclosure: Author represents that he has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article at the time this article was submitted.