Speculation rampant that software giant may buy satellite navigation firm

Microsoft to buy Garmin?

Speculation is rising that Microsoft may be preparing to make a bid for satellite navigation-specialist Garmin, causing its shares to rise 5.1 per cent days after falling 19 per cent on the news that Nokia had bought rival Navteq.

"There is speculation of Microsoft for Garmin,” said Greg Palmer, head of equity trading at Pacific Crest Securities. Garmin spokesperson, Ted Gartner, however, said that the company does comment possible mergers or acquisitions.

"After Navteq was bought by Nokia last week there is only a few other pure plays in the mapping space, Garmin being one of them,” said Mike Capitani, head of equity trading at New York-based, Caris and Co.

Garmin shares fell 9.6 per cent on October 2nd after American Technology Research analyst Rob Sanders said the company was ‘vunerable’ to competition from Nokia. Today, however, he upgraded Garmin from ‘sell’ to ‘neutral’, saying that further competition from Nokia is unlikely to hurt it further.

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