Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. shares jumped the most in almost three years on a report the retail chain is holding early-stage talks with buyout firms about a plan to go private.

The stock surged 12 percent to $55.01 at the close in New York for the biggest gain since January 2012. Reuters reported today that the sporting-goods retailer is holding early-stage conversations with a “handful” of buyout firms. There is no formal sales process under way, the news service said, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

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