"So, this just might be the silliest rumor I’ve heard in a while. Jason Maynard, an analyst with Credit Suisse, says that Salesforce.com (CRM) shares were up yesterday on rumors that the company might be acquired by Google (GOOG). Now, that really seems ridiculous. Why would Google want to dive headlong into the enterprise applications business – even hosted applications?

“We don’t think there is any merit to takeover conjecture,” Maynard says, “however, our read is that a partnership agreement is in the works and could be announced sometime in the next month.”

Maynard says a relationship between the two companies could touch on search, advertising and applications. “From a Salesforce.com perspective,” he writes, “we think a closer link with Google is positive as it would minimize potential competition, fortify efforts against Microsoft (MSFT), and enhance the [Salesforce.com] offering through better integration with Google online services.”

Meanwhile Salesforce.com reports fiscal first quarter results after the close today. Maynard expects the company to modestly beat his forecast, and says “the stock continues to have great upside over the next 12 months as the On Demand model moves into mainstream adoption and the company takes share from traditional software vendors.” The Street is looking for April quarter revenue of $157.8 million and EPS of 8 cents.

Salesforce.com shares today are up $1.14 at $45.21; that follows gains of 92 cents yesterday and 73 cents on Wednesday; the stock is now up about 6.6% on the week."