Sun shares soar on IBM news

Shares of Sun Microsystems ended the day up 79 percent, putting the troubled hardware maker's stock price back to levels seen last fall.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto

Sun Microsystems shares soared Wednesday, as reports surfaced that the struggling hardware maker was in merger talks with IBM.

Sun ended the day up 78.9 percent to close at $8.89 a share. The last time Sun traded at such levels was back in September.

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Although Sun's stock got a jolt as reports circulated that the workstation and storage company was in merger talks with IBM, it did not return it to its 52-week high levels of $16.72 a share.

Some analysts issued support for such a deal.

Jeff Goldberg, a senior analyst with financial research and consulting firm Celent, said in a statement:

The rumors that IBM is making a bid for Sun Microsystems might be causing waves, but after the storm, the market will find that the two companies align well in mission and technology.

Both Sun and IBM have a strong focus on creating industry standard platforms, with heavy investment in open source initiatives. Few companies of this size would be trusted to control such a large portion of the open source space, including Sun's recent acquisition of the open source database MySQL, though IBM has established the ability to maintain the interests of the open source community separately from their businesses.

IBM fell 1.03 percent to end the day at $91.95 a share, while the broader markets advanced.