Why Ellie Mae, Inc. Shares Skyrocketed

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Ellie Mae, Inc.  (NYSE: ELLI  )  jumped more than 26% this morning after reports surfaced saying the mortgage industry software specialist could be an acquisition target. As it stands, shares are currently up by around 14%.

So what: According to the folks at Inside Mortgage Finance, Ellie Mae has seen interest from three separate bidders for a price in the range of $800 million to $1.1 billion. As of this writing, Ellie Mae's current market capitalization sits around $734 million.

What's more, apparently among the bidders is private equity specialist Silver Lake Partners, which most recently assisted Michael Dell's efforts to take his namesake company private.

Now what: This news shouldn't have come as a huge surprise, especially considering Reuters reported in early September that Ellie Mae had hired Morgan Stanley to try and sell the company.

The timing is notable, however, considering shares of Ellie Mae got absolutely crushed less than two weeks ago following disappointing third-quarter earnings results, despite CEO Sig Anderman's assurances the short-term weakness would ultimately translate to long-term gains. That said, if Ellie Mae can succeed in its efforts to spark a bidding war and sell at the high end the aforementioned range, patient investors could still stand to be rewarded handsomely.

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