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 retailer Office Depot (NYSE: ODP  ) popped 10% in intraday trading today on renewed takeover speculation.

So what: Between the recent departure of CEO Steve Odland and perpetual margin pressure from industry king Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS  ) , as well as low-cost giants Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) and Costco (Nasdaq: COST  ) , analysts have been tapping the beleaguered Office Depot as a pretty good candidate to be taken over. So, naturally, a fresh round of buyout buzz was triggered when Office Depot filed an 8-K last night saying it had entered a change-in-control deal with President Steven Schmidt and company officers Charles Brown and Michael Newman to "diminish the potential distraction due to personal uncertainties and risks that inevitably arise when a change of control is threatened or pending."

Now what: I wouldn't be so quick to jump on today's speculation-fueled surge. Office Depot lacks the underlying fundamentals to keep a place in most Foolish portfolios, so buying today would simply be a speculative bet. It might end up paying off, but without any real competitive advantage in the space, the downside seems too big to even take a chance.

Interested in more info on Office Depot? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Staples and Costco are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Costco is also an Inside Value pick, as is Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is a Global Gains choice. The Fool owns shares of Costco and Wal-Mart. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.


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