Shares of RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) climbed 6% yesterday, fueled by another round of head-scratching buyout rumors.

The meandering small-box retailer has been the center of speculative attention before. Several private equity firms were presumably competing for RadioShack's affections last year. It turned up empty then. Why should it turn out any better for RadioShack this time around?

The pool of possible bidders is already drying up. Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) was being floated as a potential buyout partner, but the superstore chain has its own problems to sort out now. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) chose to take control of hundreds of kiosks that RadioShack manned inside Sam's warehouse clubs, so the Bentonville behemoth is not going to be on any kind of short list. Target (NYSE: TGT) has welcomed hundreds of RadioShack kiosks into its stores, but it's hard to picture the cheap-chic discounter making a play for an out-of-favor retailer in a struggling niche.

RadioShack's best shot at landing a suitor would likely come from the private equity space, but who is up for trying to catch a falling steak knife? Shares of RadioShack hit a fresh 52-week low last week.

Three months ago, analysts figured that RadioShack would earn $2.15 a share this year and $2.37 a share come 2012. Now they believe the retailer will earn just $1.73 a share for 2011 and $1.90 a share next year. Wall Street has also taken down its profit targets for Best Buy and hhgregg (NYSE: HGG), indicating just how troubled this bricks-and-mortar space is.

Private equity firms don't mind swooping in as vultures, but only if they think they can sell their downtrodden purchases for more in the future. It's hard to see that happening for RadioShack, especially after watching Circuit City and countless other smaller consumer electronics specialists implode.

So who exactly is buying RadioShack?

Yesterday it just happened to be speculators who didn't know any better.

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