Shares of Ultimate Software are down today following the company’s announcement that it is not looking for a buyer.
“Ultimate’s policy is not to comment on rumors and speculation. Nevertheless, Ultimate believes that investors need to be aware that Ultimate has no present intention to engage in a sale of the company.”
That terse statement was prompted by a Reuters report Wednesday saying the HR technology company had hired investment banker Lazard to shop it around. Reuters cited, but did not quote, three anonymous sources, as the basis of the report.
Even before the report was published, Ultimate’s stock price hit $57.23, a 52-week high. It has been rising since its low of $26.81 on Feb. 10. The Yahoo investor message board has been peppered with speculation about the rising price and the possibility of a buyout. The talk no doubt has helped fuel its rise.
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Wednesday, it closed at $53.29, but began a steady rise on the strength of the Reuters report until the company issued the denial. At mid-afternoon in New York, Ultimate was trading at $51.15, down 4 percent.
The company is focused on SaaS HR solutions. UltiPro is its end-to-end HCM system. Based in Weston, Florida, Ultimate has some 2,000 clients ranging in size from a couple hundred to several thousand, including Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the New York Yankees, and Major League Baseball.