There's been some pretty wild trading in the shares of fledgling search engine provider Mamma.com
The volatility continued. The stock shed 6% of its value on Friday before bouncing back 12% higher yesterday. The news? There was no official news out of the company to set off the wild trading frenzy. The only item of note is that Mamma's Copernic desktop search feature was incorporated into Time Warner's
It's a sweet coup for a company as small as Mamma, but not a financially material one. Still, that didn't stop the speculative buzz on the anonymous Yahoo! discussion boards to demand a Google
Let's lay that to rest, shall we? Google has no reason to buy a third-tier search engine. Mamma's namesake site features a metasearch engine that scours the leading search engines in spitting out its results. Not only are there more established players here, like InfoSpace's
Mamma is volatile. It skyrocketed and cratered in 2004 when Mark Cuban bought in and cashed out a few months later. It had some rocky trading in 2005 when its auditor got cold feet over signing off on the company's financials.
A major reason why Mamma flies or tanks on the slightest breeze is that it's a thinly traded stock fetching just over $2 a share at the moment. That puts the 7.3 million shares that exchanged hands on Thursday into their proper perspective, as we often see with other low-priced stocks like Lucent
So, do be careful out there with a wild thing like Mamma. Manipulators can take advantage of the volatility, and you don't want to be the one left holding the bag. It's great to see Mamma's Copernic mentioned by name in OpenRide, but until we find out what this means financially for Mamma -- or if OpenRide will even be a hit with the fading AOL audience -- an investor has no reason to buy into a company with a history of sinking after big gains on the premise of improbable buyout rumors.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves his mama. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.