Yahoo Inc. was named a "top pick" at Bear Stearns & Co., which said shares of the most-visited U.S. Web site may rise on speculation it will be acquired by companies such as Microsoft Corp.
Microsoft, the world's biggest software company, may be willing to offer as much as $40 a share, 76 percent above Yahoo's last closing price on Aug. 31, based on acquisition prices for other technology companies, analyst Robert Peck wrote in a note.
"Yahoo remains an attractive acquisition candidate for either traditional media companies seeking to deepen their exposure to the Internet or from technology companies like Microsoft," the New York-based analyst wrote. He maintained his "outperform" rating on the stock and his share-price forecast of $30 for the end of 2008.
Yahoo rose 42 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $23.15 in trading before the open of U.S. exchanges. The stock is down 11 percent this year, compared with an 11 percent gain for the Standard and Poor's 500 Information Technology Index.