ValueClick jumps on takeover talk
( Reuters ) - ValueClick Inc shares rose 10 percent and its options turned more volatile on Monday alongside speculation the online marketing company may be an acquisition target.
ValueClick shares traded as high as $22.59 on the Nasdaq, before slipping back to $22.38, up $1.90, or 9.3 percent.
Early on Monday, 8,876 calls vs. 655 puts changed hands in ValueClick, according to market research firm Track Data. The demand for options has also pushed up its option implied volatility, which measures the magnitude of share movement based on option prices.
That indicates that investors expect greater share swings in the stock, said Paul Foster, options strategist at Web information site theflyonthewall.com in Chicago.
"ValueClick call volume and option volatility are up on unconfirmed talk that Time Warner is interested in buying ValueClick," said Foster.
ValueClick was not immediately available for comment and neither was Time Warner Inc.
A deal involving ValueClick would be the latest for the online advertising and marketing industry, which has become a focus of larger media companies as more ad spending has moved to the Internet.
In May, for instance, Microsoft Corp announced its acquisition of aQuantive, which is ValueClick's closest rival.