Why Arkansas Best Shares Were Climbing Higher

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 Arkansas Best (NASDAQ: ABFS  ) were motoring higher today, gaining as much as 20% after reporting earnings this morning.

So what: The trucking company delivered earnings per share of $0.18, a penny below estimates, while revenues rose 13% to $576.9 million, clearing the experts' mark at $567.7 million. Salaries and wages ate into the revenue increase, which hampered profits in recent quarters, but management noted the new contract with the Teamsters, which it said will clear the way to focus on profitability. CEO Judy McReynolds summed up the company's position, saying that "economic growth remains moderate and inconsistent," but Arkansas Best has paved the way for increased profitability.  

Now what: Without guidance, it's difficult to say if McReynolds' prediction will come true anytime soon, and it's hard to see the justification for such a strong bounce for just a slim revenue beat. Arkansas Best was coming off of bad earnings misses, so investors were pleased to see earnings near the mark today, along with an increase in operating income. Arkansas shares are up nearly 300% in the last year, but like other turnaround plays, the share price may have gotten a little ahead of itself as profits are still far behind.

Arkansas Best isn't the only industrial stock making a comeback these days. Plenty of carmakers and manufacturers have crushed the market this year as the American economy  finally wakes from its slumber. But there's still an opportunity out there as many global regions remain stuck in neutral, and their resurgence could result in windfall profits for select companies. A recent Motley Fool report, "3 Strong Buys for a Global Economic Recovery," outlines a group of companies that could take off when the world economy gains steam. Click here to read the full report!



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