Why General Cable Shares Popped

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 General Cable (NYSE: BGC  ) jumped as much as 12.5% after the copper, aluminum, and fiber-optic wire and cable products manufacturer reported better-than-expected first-quarter results.

So what: For the quarter, net income actually fell year over year from $0.70 to an adjusted profit of $0.48, while sales rose 7% to $1.43 billion. Despite the drop in income, a 3% increase in year-over-year metal pounds sold helped push the company past Wall Street's consensus estimates for a profit of $0.33 on sales of $1.4 billion. As icing on the cake, General Cable's second-quarter forecast remained upbeat, with the company expecting sales between $1.6 billion and $1.65 billion and EPS of $0.65-$0.75. The Street's expectations were EPS of $0.72 and revenue of $1.57 billion.

Now what: After missing Wall Street's estimates by a mile in the previous three quarters, this was a nice change of pace for General Cable, and it could signal that the company is righting itself. I do like the prospects for fiber-optic-related stock going forward, and at just 10 times forward earnings, General Cable should be on most value investors' radars. However, I will wait for one more quarter as confirmation that the company is back on the right track.

Craving more input? Start by adding General Cable to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

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