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Craft Brewers Taps Another 52-Week High

WOODINVILLE, Wash. (TheStreet) -- Shares of Craft Brewers Alliance (HOOK) surged to a fresh 52-week high on heavy volume trading Wednesday morning.

The brewer's shares have risen steadily in recent months amid speculation that brewing giant Anheuser-Busch Inbev may be angling to acquire the company.

Craft Brewers

TheStreet recently polled our readers to see if they thought Anheuser-Busch saw long-term potential in Craft's growing corner of the niche craft beer market, or if the beer behemoth wouldn't bother with such a small-time player in the market. Voters overwhelmingly agreed that Anheuser-Busch is looking to acquire Craft Brewers Alliance.

>>Anheuser-Busch Thirsty for Craft Brewers, Poll Says

On Wednesday, Craft shares jumped more than 10% ahead of midday on double their average trading volume, a day after the stock rose 1.7%, also on heavy volume.

"Craft Brewers Alliance has reached a market capitalization where larger investment funds can start to nibble at it," speculated Bryce Peterson, founder and president of Washington Street Investments.

Washington Street owns about 2.5% of Craft.

"When I started buying in the $2's and $3's per share, HOOK was a $40-$50 million market cap, so the funds or investors managing hundreds of millions of dollars ignored it," Peterson said. "They may have liked it a lot, but they literally couldn't buy enough to make a difference in their portfolios."

"If you're a small or micro cap investment company managing, for example, $200 or $300 million, you can start to buy HOOK now because the market cap and share trading volume finally makes sense," he added.

Size can indeed create liquidity. Craft's market cap is now just under $135 million.

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