Countrywide Financial ( CFC) CEO Angelo Mozilo may soon have more time to bask in the California sun, especially if Wall Street's speculation is on the mark. Mozilo failed Tuesday to shoot down a recent media report that he is trying to work a deal with Bank of America ( BAC) about a potential sale of the nation's largest mortgage bank. In a conference call with analysts to discuss the California lender's lackluster fourth-quarter earnings, Mozilo repeatedly offered only a "no comment'' when asked about a possible deal. Shares of Countrywide skyrocketed on Friday after the Financial Times reported that Countrywide and BofA were discussing a merger. The stock soared to a 52-week high of $45.26 Friday before retreating to close at $42, but the rally isn't over. Indeed, shares were up another 79 cents, or 1.8%, to $44.17, even though Countrywide's earnings fell short of analysts' expectations and the firm gave a sobering outlook for the rest of this year. But there are signs that savvy traders on Wall Street believe Mozilo may have something up his sleeve. Several hedge funds including SAC Capital and HBK Investments recently bought up shares of Countrywide, perhaps in preparation that the mortgage lender will cash in as the sector consolidates and credit quality deteriorates in the home loan market. As of the end of September, SAC Capital owned 204,600 shares of Countrywide, while HBK had 65,200 shares.