Why Corporate Executive Board 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 research and consulting firm Corporate Executive Board (NYSE: EXBD  ) climbed 12% on Tuesday after announcing plans to acquire UK-based SHL for $660 million.

So what: Corporate Executive Board is making the acquisition -- its largest purchase ever -- to strengthen its talent management services, and judging from the stock's big jump, Mr. Market seems quite pleased with the strategy. According to management, the talent assessment space is a $4 billion market growing at a healthy 7% to 10% annually, triggering plenty of optimism about its prospects going forward.

Now what: Corporate Executive Board expects the deal to close in the third quarter and be accretive to its 2013 earnings. "We see a continual increase in the demand for talent measurement and analytics to drive organizational performance," Chairman and CEO Tom Monahan said. "This acquisition will accelerate all elements of our existing growth strategy, and generate significant value for our clients and shareholders." Of course, with the stock busting through its 52-week high today and trading at a 25-plus P/E, much of that optimism might already be baked into the price.  

Interested in more info on Corporate Executive Board? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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