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Why Shares of FGL Holdings Soared Today

By Lou Whiteman - Feb 6, 2020 at 5:53PM

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The insurance and annuities specialist is reportedly the subject of takeover interest.

What happened

Shares of FGL Holdings (FG) gained more than 19% on Thursday after reports surfaced that Fidelity National Financial (FNF 4.07%) is in talks to acquire the insurance and annuities specialist.

So what

FGL shares aren't usually in the spotlight, with the stock basically breakeven over a five-year period prior to a late-day surge on Thursday. But the company has apparently gotten the attention of title-insurance specialist Fidelity National.

A hand-drawn stock chart pointing upward

Image source: Getty Images.

Reuters reported that Fidelity National is nearing a deal to acquire FGL in an effort to diversify its revenue base. Terms of the deal were unknown, but the report said that if the negotiations are successful, the transaction could be announced in the coming days.

Now what

Given how little we know, there isn't much for an investor to do other than wait and see. Even after the price spike, FGL trades at 7.8 times forward earnings, so it is possible Fidelity National could be considering paying a price above the current trading price.

But it is also possible that the talks will fall through, or that most of the potential gains from a deal are already priced into the stock. Following that large late-day jump, it's best to leave it to speculators to try to guess what comes next for FGL.

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