Will Verizon buy Netflix?
That is the rumor flying around, and it led Netflix shares to rise Monday by 6.2 percent to $75.26.
While a long way to regaining its $300-plus a share, the stock continued to rise Tuesday, with shares trading up $1.20 to $76.16 in early-afternoon trading.
The question has stirred up quite a debate, with those on the Street differing on the rumor's plausibility.
Verizon may launch a bidding war for the Los Gatos, Calif.-based streaming company, Porter Bibb, managing partner at Mediatech Capital told Bloomberg TV Monday evening.
I am hearing rumblings from inside Verizon that they are very serious about either Netflix or something similar, he said, citing unnamed sources.
However, others analysts have said not to expect much.
There's no way the [Netflix] board can accept an offer of $100 [per share] with a straight face...when stock was near $300 just three months ago, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter told TheStreet.com Tuesday morning. And no one is going to make an offer that high.
It would be far cheaper to buy Netflix's subscribers than it would be to buy the service, Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Tony Wible told Deadline on Monday.
The rumors began Monday when subscription service Deal Reporter, through Deadline, reported the New York-based telecommunications company is considering an offer for Netflix in order to get into the video-streaming business, again citing unnamed sources.
Of course, there was a lot of chatter last week that Verizon was interested in purchasing Bellevue, Wash.-based Coinstar, the parent company of Redbox. When the Coinstar rumor floated around last Tuesday, shares of Netflix fell 4 percent.
Both companies have declined to comment to the media on the matter.