When Provide Commerce (NASDAQ:PRVD) accepted a buyout offer from Liberty Media (NYSE:L) for $33.75 a share on Monday, why did the stock trade as high as $34 before closing out the day at $33.76? If sealing the deal was still months away, why would any investor want to pay $33.76 in exchange for $33.75 come early next year?

It wasn't a case of masochistic investors bent on capital depreciation. It was just the speculative buzz that a higher bid would be forthcoming. After all, wouldn't Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) seem like a better fit than a cable programming empire in making the most of the leading consumer-direct online marketplace for perishable goods?

Also, wasn't $33.75 a bit cheap for a company that had closed at $30.23 on Friday?

The answers to those two questions are (1) perhaps, and (2) not necessarily.

Yes, Amazon would have made a great match. A services-minded online juggernaut like Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) would also seem like a logical resting place for Provide Commerce, especially given Yahoo!'s active online dating business. However, picking apart corporate acquisitions isn't like playing fantasy football. We may never learn who knew that a certain company was in play, or what they were willing to offer.

A significant investor has committed to voting in favor of the Liberty Media deal, and against any other possible offer, which is probably just enough to scare away any other possible suitors. In the past, we've seen everything from cruise line companies to video rental chains forgo higher hostile bids in favor of accepting lower, mutually agreed-upon offers.

So what about the price? If a 12% premium sounds a bit weak, let's examine how Provide Commerce shares were trading in the weeks prior to the official announcement. The stock traded as low as $22.51 last month, and spent the entire month of October in the low $20s. Negotiations take weeks, if not months, to conclude, so this deal may have originally represented as much as a 50% markup to the market price.

The stock really had no material news to offer after its fiscal first-quarter report on Nov. 2, so it's quite possible that word of a deal started to leak early and speculators just bought on in.

Provide Commerce has been a wild ride since I singled it out to members of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers newsletter service back in March. The buyout represents a reasonable 23% premium over the recommended price. It seems like a smooth, market-thumping gain in retrospect -- if and when the buyout goes through as expected.

That's fine. That's what ultimate growth stock investing is about, after all. The near-term swings may be wild, but those are the risks one must often take to achieve greater rewards. Provide will ultimately fit in with Liberty Media's empire. Liberty owns a 20% stake in IAC/InterActive (NASDAQ:IACI), so let's not assume that it will all be QVC and Animal Planet. Provide's ProFlowers.com stronghold will work quite well with many of those online properties like Expedia, Evite, CitySearch, and Ticketmaster.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz did use Provide Commerce to deliver flowers to his wife on April Fool's Day. Yes, it's a holiday around these parts. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. T he Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.