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Progress stock reflects name

Progress Software's stock rises as high as 23 points, fueled by speculation that Microsoft will acquire it.

Progress Software (PRGS) stock rose as high as 23 points today, fueled by speculation that Microsoft (MSFT) will acquire the software tools maker.

Progress Software shares finally settled at 19-1/8 at the market's close, down a point from Friday's close. The company's shares got a 24 percent boost at the end of the week, following a report on CNBC-TV that the company could be purchased by the software giant.

Progress, along with Microsoft and Oracle (ORCL), wants to capture a lead in the tools market that can help companies build order processing and other crucial business systems on the Web.

"Our company policy is not to comment on market rumors," said Bud Robertson, chief financial officer. "Our stock may have also been pushed by our recent product announcements. Those drive prices to a certain extent."

Volume of shares changing hands reached nearly 1.3 million today--equal to all the trading the stock has undergone in the past 29 days.

The company reported a drop in third-quarter net income to $218,000, compared with $4 million a year ago. Revenues, meanwhile, had also decreased by 8 percent to $41 million over a year ago.