What: Shares of Virgin America (NASDAQ:VA) were gaining altitude today on news that the company was considering selling itself. As of 2:58 p.m EST, the stock was up 13.7%.
So what: A report in Bloomberg said the Richard Branson-founded airline is reaching out to interested parties for a potential sale of all or part of the company. The report also said that Virgin America was originally approached about a takeover, though the company would not provide any details on the talks.
Considering the rampant consolidation in the airline industry, it's not surprising to see Virgin America in play, as the airline has an excellent reputation and could help a company like JetBlue expand and cut costs. The stock debuted just a year-and-a-half ago, and has traded mostly sideways in its short public history. With fuel prices down, profitability has soared, and the company plans to expand, adding five A320 planes this year, and plans to grow capacity 10% in 2017 and 2018.
Now what: Speculation of a buyout will generally send a stock surging, but the interest seems preliminary at this point as Bloomberg's source said there is no guarantee that a deal will go through. There's also no indication on what price Virgin America might fetch in a buyout. Given the relative lack of information, today's jump seems mostly speculative, though the stock could move higher if more news on a potential deal comes to light.