ARMONK, New York ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Voltaire ( VOLT) and Radware ( RDWR) surged on Wednesday after speculation that the networking specialists could be IBM ( RDWR) acquisition bait, while storage maker FalconStor ( FSTOR) plunged on the shock resignation of CEO ReiJane Huai.

IBM

Israeli Web site Globes touted Cisco ( CSCO) rival Voltaire as a potential IBM target on Wednesday, hot on the heels of the tech giant's acquisitions of Blade Network Technologies and Netezza ( NZ).

Switch maker Voltaire is a partner of Blade Network Technologies, and Globes cites the two companies' technology as complementary. Voltaire investors responded quickly to the chatter, pushing the company's stock up 34 cents, or 5.86%, to $6.14.

There have already been rumors linking Radware with both IBM and Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), driving the company's stock northward earlier this month. Radware's stock rose sharply again on Wednesday, climbing $2.39, or 7.43%, to close at $34.57, although the application delivery specialist has declined to comment on the acquisition rumors.

IBM recently stated it would spend $20 billion on acquisitions over the next five years, but added that software companies are the main focus of its M&A effort. The tech giant has also warned that its aggressive acquisition strategy and organic growth could be impacted by increased regulation of the derivatives market.

Shares of HP also rallied on Wednesday, climbing 91 cents, or 2.19%, to reach $42.53 as investors basked in the warm afterglow of the company's solid 2011 guidance, announced late on Tuesday. HP, which is still searching for a successor to ousted CEO Mark Hurd, also outlined plans for its PalmPad tablet device during the company's annual analyst meeting.

Shares of storage firm FalconStor ( FSTOR), however, headed in the opposite direction on Wednesday. FalconStor was the biggest percentage decliner on the Nasdaq after the data protection specialist announced the surprise resignation of CEO ReiJane Huai. The shock resignation followed Huai's apparent disclosure that "improper payments were allegedly made" in connection with a single customer's contract.

FalconStor shares closed down 91 cents, or 22.4%, at $3.15.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers.

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