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Acquisition rumor sends Be stock on wild ride

Shares of the software maker fall back to earth after soaring on speculation that the company was about to be acquired by Red Hat.

Shares of Be Incorporated, a maker of operating software to run computers, fell back to earth today after rocketing higher yesterday on speculation that the company was about to be acquired.

Be stock tumbled 29.12 percent today, falling 10.94 points to close at 26.63. The stock climbed 12.31 points, or 49 percent, yesterday to close at 37.56 on speculation that Linux software maker Red Hat is interested in acquiring the company.

The stock in companies that make or distribute alternative OS software, such as Be and Linux, surged after the judge presiding over the landmark antitrust trial of software giant Microsoft said that he thinks Microsoft has abused it powers.

Linux is considered a strong alternative to software offered by Microsoft.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Be went public in July and surged after the judge's "findings of fact," issued on Nov. 5.

Neither Be nor Red Hat could be reached to confirm or deny the possibility of an acquisition.