M&A status: Whispered about. Analysts have tabbed Volcano ($VOLC) as a possible buyout target for the past couple of years, and although the devicemaker's net income has disappointed investors of late, there's a lot to like in its business. Volcano reported 9% revenue growth in the last quarter on the strength of its booming fractional flow reserve disposable business, which grew 48% on the quarter and has brought in $67.7 million in the first 9 months of 2012. Volcano has continued to pick up regulatory approvals for disposable catheters and all year has trotted out data demonstrating that its technology can ensure the right patients receive stents and reduce revascularization and rehospitalization rates.

Likely acquirers: These days, Boston Scientific ($BSX) is quick with the checkbook, chasing down deals both gallingly large and just comparatively so. Volcano's large market share and sunny prospects could be ideal for Boston Sci's crawling-back-from-the-shadows cardiovascular business. Most of Volcano's banner offerings go hand-in-hand with cardiac imaging, so a deep-pocketed outfit in that field may give the company a look, too.

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