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Red Hat Shares Leap Amid Merger Talk

From Reuters

Shares of Red Hat Inc., the largest distributor of the upstart Linux operating system, surged again by 11% Monday amid talk that the company is poised to make more acquisitions, as it seeks to become a competitive threat to Microsoft Corp. .

Since last Tuesday, shares of the Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based company have soared 95%. Red Hat was the first company in the Linux area to go public, in a successful public offering in August.

On Monday, its shares climbed $23.13 to $236.63 on Nasdaq, giving the company a market capitalization of more than $15 billion. The stock was initially priced at $14 a share in its IPO in August.

The Monday edition of PC Week magazine, citing sources familiar with its plans, reported that Red Hat is set to step up its rivalry with Microsoft with a campaign of acquisitions, partnerships and Linux software development advocacy.

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