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Novell shares jump on heavy volume; IBM rumors swirl

    Novell shares moved up 1 9/16, or 17 percent, to 10 3/4 on heavy volume Monday, two days before the software developer will report its third-quarter results.

    Vague rumors suggesting IBM (NYSE: IBM) might be interested in taking over the company were met with equally vague "no comment" responses from officials at both companies.

    IBM (NYSE: IBM) shares were up a modest 3/16 to 120 13/16.

    However, with more than 13.2 million shares moved in early afternoon trading, Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) had more than doubled its average daily volume.

    On Wednesday, Novell will report its third-quarter earnings.

    A survey of analysts by First Call Corp. predicts Novell will earn 2 cents a share in the quarter.

    Its shares were pummeled in the wake of disappointing sales and earnings in its second quarter.

    In the second quarter, Novell earned $31 million, or 9 cents a share, on sales of $302 million.

    In the hopes of righting the ship, Novell said it will restructure the company into four business units, to deliver software service to small and large customers.

    Novell shares surged to a 52-week high of 44 9/16 in February before tumbling to a low of 7 7/8 in May.

    Six of the 11 analysts tracking the stock maintain a "buy" recommendation while the other five call it a "hold."