EA gives tech rally legs on Wall Street

[UPDATE] Trading almost four times normal its volume, ERTS closes up $4.50 on speculation of significant news tomorrow.

Electronic Arts had itself a grand ol' day on Wall Street today.

Opening this morning a hair under Friday's close of $53.50, shares of Electronic Arts made a hasty move northward, hitting an intraday trading high (so far) of $58.31 and closing at a tidy $58.00 today on the Nasdaq exchange

Trading volume closed out at was last reported at 11,353,268 shares, far above the average daily trading volume of 3.4 million shares.

Tomorrow, the Redwood Shores, CA-based developer and publisher of video games will hold a conference call to update the markets and investors with news concerning its efforts in the European marketplace. EA says it will make a "major announcement regarding plans for Europe" on Tuesday. A conference call tomorrow will include David Stern, NBA commissioner, Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball CEO, and Joel Linzner, Electronic Arts SVP of business and legal affairs.

Forbes is reporting that Standard & Poor's Equity Research analysts see the bidding up of EA shares a result of investors "overreacting."

The firm reiterated its Hold rating on the company, saying in a memo: "While we believe that tomorrow's announcement could be an incremental positive for Electronic Arts, we see today's price appreciation as an overreaction, particularly in light of the company's March 2005 non-exclusive licensing agreement with the NBA that includes four other videogame publishers."

The Dow Jones Newswires, after taking the comments of Harris Nesbitt Gerard analyst Edward Williams, is reporting that today's run-up in price results from speculation that EA will make good on long-held speculation it will buy Paris-based game developer and publisher Ubisoft, one of its fiercest rivals.

The EA rally spurred the Nasdaq Composite Index to climb some 5.96 points to close at 2,068.96, recovering a portion of the 13.91 loss it suffered on Friday. At times, the index had been up almost 10 percent during trading today.

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