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What: Shares of semiconductor company Atmel (NASDAQ:ATML) surged on Tuesday after the company announced that its CEO would delay his retirement as the company works to complete its previously reported strategic evaluation process. At 2 p.m.Tuesday, the stock was up about 13.2%.

So what: Atmel CEO Steven Laub announced in May that he'd be retiring, as well as stepping down from the board, on Aug. 31. In June, Reuters reported that Atmel was working with an investment bank to explore strategic options, including a possible sale. The stock surged on the news.

While Laub's initial retirement plans helped fuel the speculation that Atmel would get acquired, this delay in his retirement could mean that the company is closing in on a deal. This is only speculation, of course, and the company does not intend to make any more announcements related to the strategic evaluation until it's completed.

Now what: Given recent acquisitions in the semiconductor industry, like NXP's deal to buy Freescale earlier this year, Atmel could be an attractive target for a larger company. However, at this point there is no guarantee that any sort of deal will emerge, and buying the stock purely on speculation that the company will get bought out is unlikely to be a good idea.

Timothy Green has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns and recommends NXP Semiconductors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.