Overture Ignites on Buyout Rumor

Overture Services ( OVER) shot up 10% in about 30 minutes Friday when a recurrent rumor that it will be acquired by Yahoo! ( YHOO) resurfaced.

Overture, the pay-for-click search engine that lost about a third of its value in mid-April when it cut its earnings forecast, has intermittently surfaced as a buyout candidate for larger companies trying to fend off the threat of Google.

Google, by far the most popular search engine on the Web, is widely expected to go public this year or next.

Overture's market capitalization is about $810 million. The shares were recently trading at $13.64, up $1.21, or 10%. Share volume was 3.4 million, a little more than its average full-day total. The 52-week high is $31.30, while the low is $10.42.

The latest rumor has Yahoo! buying Overture for half a share plus $11, or about $24.70. Yahoo! was recently down 12 cents at $27.39. Representatives from both Overture and Yahoo! said it was their companies' policy not to comment on market speculation and rumors.

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