Why Lumber Liquidators Shares Tumbled

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 Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL  ) were getting taken to the woodshed today, falling as much as 13% after federal investigators searched its offices for information on the importation of certain wood flooring products.

So what: In response to the investigation, the flooring retailer said it's fully cooperating with authorirtes, and said it takes sourcing and compliance very seriously, with more than 60 professionals charged with overseeing the process. The agents, who came from Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement division and the Fish and Wildlife Service, brought sealed search warrants, and the government would not disclose any information about the investigation.

Now what: With no further details available, it's difficult to draw any conclusions from the news, but federal agents performed a similar raid on Gibson Guitar back in 2011. In that search, agents seized nearly $1 million in rare Indian ebony and other goods, and Gibson ended up paying a fine of $300,000 last year. Today's drop has shaved about $300 million off Lumber Liquidators' market value. Unless the violations are particularly egregious, it seems unlikely that the investigation will end up costing the company that much in the end. Investors already eyeing shares may want to take advantage of the discount.

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