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Why Lincare's Shares Popped

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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 home-health-care services provider Lincare Holdings (Nasdaq: LNCR  ) were puffed up today, gaining as much as 31% in intraday trading after reports surfaced that Germany's Linde AG may acquire the company.

So what: As reported on Financial Times' Alphaville blog, Linde may be ready to pay $3.4 billion for Lincare, which would be a significant premium even over today's post-jump price. Obviously, that'd be a great outcome for investors. And if Alphaville's report is on point, Linde may be pushed by other bidders, as France's Air Liquide and a private equity firm may also be ready to pounce.

Now what: If there's an event that can provide investors with a big, quick windfall, it's an acquisition. But if there's an event that can provide investors with swift and painful disappointment, it's a rumored acquisition that doesn't pan out. There may be very good reason for investors to jump in on Lincare -- if Linde is really ready to pay $3.4 billion, then there may be really compelling value here. However, investors with an itchy trigger finger may want to make sure they really want to invest in Lincare and aren't just taking a gamble on rumors (unless, of course, gambling on rumors is your stated investment strategy).

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer has no financial interest in 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 Facebook. The Fool’s disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.

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LNCR.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Lincare Holdings,… CAPS Rating: **