Office Depot Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of office supplies specialist Office Depot (NYSE: ODP  ) surged more than 13% in intraday trading, as the company announced that Chairman and CEO Steve Odland will step down, and that the company will report a surprise profit for its third quarter.

So What:The press release contained the usual back-patting for Odland, but it doesn't seem like investors are too broken up over his departure. Odland's tenure began in 2005, and to say that company performance was terrible since then would probably be too kind. Of course, while investors may be pleased with the change in leadership, the announcement that company will report an $0.18-per-share profit in the third quarter is likely also a big contributor to today's positive momentum.

Now What: The merger and acquisition market has been hopping lately, with both companies and private equity firms showing a keen interest in putting some of their cash to work. Earlier in the month, both Office Depot and archrival OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX  ) were highlighted as potential buyout candidates. It's always better to avoid speculating on buyout rumors, but investors could focus on the underlying data -- valuation, potential for operational improvement, economic momentum -- that potential acquirers might be looking at.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy assures you no Wookiees were harmed in the making of this article.


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