Why Heartland Express 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 trucking company Heartland Express  (NASDAQ: HTLD  ) jumped 24% today following an acquisition announcement.

So what: Heartland Express is buying Gordon Trucking for $300 million in cash, stock, and debt. The deal will build the combined company into the fifth largest asset-based truckload fleet in North America and should give the company about $1 billion in revenue next year.  

Now what: The hope is to save another $30 million in synergies by 2017. This is often an item management points to when making an acquisition, but the cost savings rarely come true. Last year, Gordon Trucking only generated $20 million in operating income, so I don't think this is a steal at $300 million and won't be buying at the elevated price investors have given the stock today.

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