Microsoft has insisted it still has no interest in Yahoo despite CEO Steve Ballmer claiming a deal would make economic sense for shareholders.

"We'd be glad to buy Yahoo," Ballmer was reported to have said at a Gartner conference. "Of course we're not paying what we would have paid before because Yahoo's stock has collapsed. We also imagine that Yahoo's management is still hallucinating about the value of the company, in which case we have nothing to talk about. In the event that they have come to their senses, however, they should give us a call."

The remarks were followed by the following statement from Microsoft's PR machine: "Our position hasn't changed. Microsoft has no interest in acquiring Yahoo; there are no discussions between the companies."

Yahoo's stock rose $2.19 per share in just more than 60 minutes following the CEO's remarks during his appearance at the Gartner Symposium in Florida. In the same time frame, Microsoft stock was up $2.10.

Ballmer also said it is clear Yahoo did not want to sell, and added that there might be continuing opportunities to talk about search. After the talks between the two broke down the first time, Microsoft investigated just buying the search business from Yahoo.

See all Microsoft news