Baker Hughes, the world's third-largest oil-field contractor, had its biggest gain in five months amid speculation..
Baker Hughes, the world's third-largest oil-field contractor, had its biggest gain in five months in New York trading on Wednesday amid speculation that the company will be sold to larger rival Halliburton Co.
Baker Hughes rose $4.49, or 4.9 percent, to $96.70 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The gain was the Houston-based company's biggest since April 25. Halliburton, also based in Houston, rose 59 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $40.05. The 15-member Philadelphia Oil Service Sector Index climbed 3 percent.
Halliburton Chief Executive Officer Dave Lesar addressed similar speculation during a quarterly earnings call with analysts on Jan. 27, 2006, noting that at the time, his company was focused on a pending initial public offering and separation of its KBR engineering unit. That company was spun off in March.