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Saturday, July 24, 2004Even after its huge dividend payout, Gates & Co. still have plenty in the till to fund expansion, especially through acquisitionsAfter it makes a onetime special dividend payment of $32 billion in December, it will still have more than $20 billion in cash. And thanks to its profitable Windows and Office monopolies, it's racking up $1 billion in cash every month.That's enough to buy a lot of growth -- whether through acquisitions, product upgrades, or new business expansion.
Possible acquisition is Siebel Systems (SEBL ), a specialist in customer-management software. Even SAP (SAP ) remains a possibility. Though the deal is officially off the table, some analysts believe talks could resume if Oracle eventually buys PeopleSoft, putting pressure on Microsoft's server business.The most intriguing and dramatic deal would be for services giant Accenture (ACN ). The company, which has a market cap of $24 billion, is a powerhouse in the lucrative consulting and business outsourcing arenas. Already there are affinities between the two companies: Ballmer sits on Accenture's board, and the two companies co-own Avenade, a boutique consulting outfit that specializes in Microsoft technology.
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