Why Rackspace Hosting, Inc. Shares Skyrocketed Today

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 Rackspace Hosting  (NYSE: RAX  ) jumped more than 20% Friday after the company stated it has hired Morgan Stanley to help it explore "inbound strategic proposals."

So what: Such a deal could include a partnership with or acquisition by a larger player looking to grow its cloud-computing presence. The news also arrives on the heels of Rackspace's better-than-expected Q1 results -- its first beat on both the top and bottom lines in three quarters, by the way -- and with which RackSpace CEO Graham Weston noted they added "thousands of new customers [...], including one of the largest we've ever landed."

Now what: With shares up nearly 40% since Monday, I certainly wouldn't blame investors for taking at least some of their chips off the table today. Deep in mind, however, shares are still down around 7% year to date, and a partnership could do wonders with regard to improving Rackspace's competitive position amid price wars in the cloud services industry. Long-term investors, then, might still have plenty to gain by holding on here.

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