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Splunk Gains Even as Investor Lockup on Offering Expires

Splunk Inc., a maker of software that helps businesses analyze Internet data, gained amid speculation that it may be acquired.

The San Francisco-based company’s stock rose 6.9 percent to $33.46 at the close in New York, its highest price since Oct. 4.

Speculation that the company may be bought by International Business Machines Corp. or Oracle Corp. has shielded the stock price against a drop resulting from a lockup that expires today, said Brian White, an analyst at Topeka Capital Markets Inc., who rates the shares a buy.

Splunk raised $331 million in a secondary offering on July 19 after surging more than 70 percent since its initial share sale in April. As part of the secondary offer, selling stockholders agreed to a lockup that extended the IPO lockup period on half of their shares until today.

Founded in 2004 by Erik Swan, Rob Das and Michael Baum, Splunk is the first of the so-called big data companies to go public. Its software helps businesses monitor and analyze Web information to improve service, cut operating costs and reduce security risks. Its backers include venture firms August Capital, JK&B Capital, Ignition Partners and Sevin Rosen Funds.

Splunk announced today in a statement that one customer, Ceryx Inc., achieved more than a 200 percent return on its purchase of Splunk software, reducing “the effort for message-tracking workflows eightfold.”

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