Shares of Fitbit (FIT) are soaring on Monday, following reports that Google parent Alphabet (GOOG -3.05%) (GOOGL -3.12%) is kicking the activity tracker maker's tires for a possible buyout. Fitbit's stock jumped as much as 41.3% before retreating slightly to a gain of 29% at 1:50 p.m. EDT.
Reuters says that Alphabet has made an offer for Fitbit, citing anonymous insiders. The report comes with the usual caveats, as Reuters' sources noted that the negotiations may not result in a completed deal. Neither Fitbit nor Alphabet has commented on this report yet, and Reuters didn't name a price tag.
A buyout might be the best bet for Fitbit's shareholders at this point, and Alphabet would make plenty of sense as a buyer. Alphabet could use Fitbit to bolster its portfolio of Google-branded consumer electronics, which currently lacks a smartwatch or activity tracker. This deal could also boost the Android platform's wearable computing prowess by folding the best parts of Fitbit into Android and then installing the resulting hybrid system on all Wear OS devices -- Google-branded activity trackers included.
Fitbit's stock has been flagging in 2019 amid a fairly fruitless turnaround effort, trading 38% below its 52-week highs before the Reuters report arrived on Monday. Given the absence of a confirmed offer and a completely unknown buyout price, it's hard to say where Fitbit will go from here. I'm happy to watch this drama from the sidelines.