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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 medical isotope supplier Nordion (NYSE: NDZ ) shot higher by as much as 15% after reporting its fourth-quarter earnings results and announcing the start of a strategic review that could end in a sale of the company.
So what: For the quarter, Nordion recorded a one-time laden loss of $0.70 per share as revenue remained flat at $74.7 million. Adjusted for one-time costs, the company earned a profit of $0.34, up 13% from last year, but also cautioned that isotope sales are expected to dip 20% this year. The big news was Nordion's hiring of Jefferies to help with its strategic review -- a fancy phrase for, "Can we sell this company to increase shareholder value?" The reason for doing this relates to a lawsuit it lost in September that would have recouped damages from its main isotope supplier, the Atomic Energy of Canada, or ACEL. ACEL provides Nordion with molybdenum-99, a medical imaging isotope, and beyond contracts that expire in 2016, Nordion's supply of this isotope and its operations in general, are very much up in the air.
Now what: Danger, Will Robinson, danger! How many times have we had this discussion of a company seeking a potential buyer when it comes onto hard times? Nordion gave you all the clues you need with its earnings report: 20% decline in isotope revenue in 2013. Its moly-99 supply issues are only going to get worse which is going to make a sale of the company very difficult. Personally, I'll be perfectly happy watching Nordion from the sidelines.
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