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The right way for Sun to deal with Wall Street

Dear Jonathan and Scott:

Want some free advice? Worth every penny it'll cost you....

I talked yesterday about how well Wall street's advice has worked out for HP - a great company turned into history on the hoof. Those same analysts, however, have been telling you to do the same thing: lay-off your cost sinks, you know: the customer service people, the R&D folks, the evangelists -anyone whose billables last month didn't bring an immediate shareholder return.

They're not exactly clue-full, but their actions affect both your markets and your market price. So here's my humble advice on dealing with them: do a management LBO at maybe $5.50 to six bucks now, wait about a year, and do an IPO at something well north of $40.

I'm not kidding. Remember, the people who want to control your agenda by talking down your shares to the point that only thing between you and a hostile takeover is the Sherman Act, make their money buying and selling equities, and not from acting in anyone else's best interest. Do this, and they get to sell right away, and then later on they get to buy - and all you have to do is get the right buzz going for the IPO and you can stick it to them for one of the biggest annual earned value increases anyone's ever seen.

And I know just what to base that buzz on: energy savings; fast memory; interval arithmetic; custom silicon; prepackaged application servers; remote management; and project uh, oh that's secret, sorry!

Well, you know what they say about fools and other people's money, right? Right. So go get 'em already, ok?

Paul Murphy wrote and published The Unix Guide to Defenestration. Murphy is a 25-year veteran of the I.T. consulting industry, specializing in Unix and Unix-related management issues.