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Merger mania: No easy path to investor profits

Few can predict M&A targets before deals are announced

9:53 PM, Feb. 22, 2013
An Office Depot in Miami, left, and an OfficeMax store in Philadelphia. The retail companies announced Wednesday they have agreed to combine in an all-stock deal worth about $1.2 billion.
An Office Depot in Miami, left, and an OfficeMax store in Philadelphia. The retail companies announced Wednesday they have agreed to combine in an all-stock deal worth about $1.2 billion.
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When two companies love each other very much, they get together, and sometimes that's where brand-new bouncing baby businesses come from. Other times, one company loves another company so much that it just gobbles it right up. And sometimes, just sometimes, investors can profit from all that love - but it's not easy.

Just as spring approaches, corporate America has been struck by the urge to merge. U.S. merger and acquisition activity soared to $306.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 from $210.2 billion in the third quarter, according to The Mergermarket Group. Corporate hookups have ...

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Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports