Ad tech firm Rubicon Project’s stock is soaring after a report claimed it is exploring a sale

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Rubicon Project CEO Frank Addante.
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Lucas Jackson/Reuters Pictures

Ad tech company Rubicon Project’s stock shot up on Friday following a Wall Street Journal report suggesting the company is exploring a sale.

The report claimed Rubicon Project is working with investment bank Morgan Stanley to explore its strategic options.

A Rubicon Project spokesman told Business Insider: “We do not comment on inquiries of this kind.”

Rubicon Project’s stock was up 9.4% at the time of writing (12pm EST) to $8.36.

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Google Finance

In November, Rubicon Project announced a “comprehensive realignment of the business” that saw it lay off 125 people – around 19% of its total headcount.

The announcement coincided with the company reporting its third-quarter earnings. Revenue increased 2% to $65.8 million in the three months to September 30, versus analysts’ expectations of $62.9 million. Earnings-per-share (EPS) increased 200% year-on-year to $0.07, but was below the $0.09 analyst estimate.

The company also lowered its guidance for the fourth quarter, blaming a “challenging” ad market and admitting it had been slow to adopt header bidding, a popular new advertising technology that is boosting revenue for publishers.

Rubicon Project went public in 2014 at $15, with its stock rising to $20.52 on the opening day.