Apparently, I'm not the only one that thinks The Knot (Nasdaq: KNOT ) may be the next dot-com to get hitched.
Merriman Capital -- not to be confused with Married Man Capital -- issued a research note that pegs the leading wedding-planning website as prime takeover material.
Merriman analyst Richard Fetyko feels that the company's pole position in a lucrative vertical niche makes it an attractive bride-to-be, and I couldn't agree more.
The Knot isn't perfect. Growth has slowed for the stock that once poked its head above $30 three years ago. Its latest quarter was a dud, with revenue climbing a mere 4% higher and earnings clocking in slightly lower.
Then again, it's not as if folks are springing for lavish weddings these days. Many couples are even putting off that special day -- at least until one of them lands a job.
This is the kind of climate that makes The Knot a perfect buy for an opportunistic acquirer.
Fetyko feels that traditional media giants -- from Disney (NYSE: DIS ) to USA TODAY parent Gannett (NYSE: GCI ) -- would make ideal gentleman callers, but I can see new media companies also camping out for a chance to get on bended knee.
Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO ) needs to begin acquiring content creators again. The Knot would also fit right in with IAC (Nasdaq: IACI ) , somewhere between Citysearch's city-specific venue listings, Gifts.com's referral service, and Service Magic's qualified leads for contractor offerings.
If a conventional media company wins out, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO ) would be a natural if it wasn't too small to be able to pull off the deal.
Then again, we may still have a runaway bride here. The Knot doesn't have a liquidity crisis on its hands. It's cash-rich and debt-free. It's profitable. It doesn't need an exit strategy, though shareholders obviously wouldn't mind if the premium was right.
Getting married off isn't easy -- but sometimes you just know that the time is right.
Do you think The Knot will be acquired within the next year? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.