Shares of Woodward rose by 7.2% to $82.68 at 11 a.m. EST. The stock jumped as much as 13% before being temporarily halted. The shares closed 7.5% higher at $82.93, on a day the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 1,000 points.
Boeing shares dropped 2.2% on the report and closed down by 5.3% to $329.66.
The companies have held takeover discussions over the past several months, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a source familiar with the matter. There is no guarantee an agreement will be reached, according to the Journal.
Woodward denied the report.
"This rumor is incorrect," the company said in a statement. "Woodward is not in discussions with Boeing over a possible acquisition of Woodward, and will not provide any further comment on this story."
Shares plunged 10% in after-hours trading.
The report may highlight Boeing's acquisitive appetite. Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said Wednesday, Jan. 31, the company is still in talks with its Brazilian counterpart Embraer SA (ERJ) about a deal.
"We're interested in the business combination because we see strong strategic value and clear synergy in a number of areas, including highly complementary product lines, advanced vertical capabilities, broadening service offerings and leveraging world-class talent and other combined resources," Muilenburg said during a conference call with analysts. "This deal is aligned with our long-term strategy of, first, robust and continuing organic growth investment and returning value to shareholders, complemented by strategic acquisitions that enhance and accelerate our growth plans."
The two companies confirmed in December that they were discussing a potential multibillion-dollar deal. But they have yet to reach an agreement that would satisfy the Brazilian government, which has a golden share in Embraer. A golden share provides the same voting rights as the holders of common shares but gives the shareholder veto power over changes of control or corporate purpose.
"We know that the government of Brazil has raised some concerns or issues that we fully respect," Muilenburg said. "We're working through the details of potential options going forward and doing that in a very diligent way."
--This story has been updated to include Woodward's comment and closing share prices.