(DryShips item updated to correct the closing stock price)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- DryShips ( DRYS) shares spiked by 7% Monday on trading-desk rumors that Denmark's Maersk was looking to buy the Greek company.

Already a heavily traded name, DryShips saw its volume Monday surpass 60 million shares, quadruple the daily average. DryShips stock ended the session at $6.09, up 43 cents, or 7.6%.

Analysts doubted the veracity of the rumors, which appeared to catch fire after some heavy buying activity in DryShips call options Monday at around a $7 a share.

One skeptical analyst pointed to the fact that DryShips, like many of its publicly traded peers, put in place an onerous set of anti-takeover measures that would make it difficult for a hostile suitor to gain control.

In other words, the owner-founders who took these companies public, DryShips CEO George Economou being one of the first, are highly protective of their interests, and their independence -- except if the price is right, of course.

On the other hand, some speculated that Maersk, which has a large energy-exploration business in addition to the biggest containership operation in the world, might be looking to pick up DryShips' offshore drilling-platform assets.

Lazard Capital Markets analyst Urs Dur told Barron's earlier Monday that Maersk is an unlikely buyer, given its conservative nature.

DryShips, which does not have a conservative reputation, still needs to secure financing for two deepwater rigs on order at a South Korean shipyard. In order to do so, the company needs to obtain charter contracts with an oil company. Indeed, when some investors noticed the frantic trading in DryShips' stock Monday, they thought, at first, that perhaps the company had inked one of these charters.

Maersk doesn't own dry-bulk carriers. The containership sector of the shipping industry, meanwhile, has cratered with the recession; the Danish company lost around a billion dollars in 2009. Doubters noted that Maersk doesn't exactly have a war chest, even though it issued equity and rights in order to raise much-needed cash last year.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.

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