Why Liquidity Services, Inc. Shares Plunged Today

Is Liquidity Services' drop meaningful or just another movement?

Apr 3, 2014 at 2:57PM

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 Liquidity Services (NASDAQ:LQDT) fell more than 12% early Thursday after the company provided an update on the bidding results for the U.S. Department of Defense non-rolling stock and rolling stock surplus contracts.

So what: This extends a 6.7% plunge yesterday, which was caused when Liquidity Services announced its winning bid on April 1 for the non-rolling stock contract was significantly higher than expected.

According to today's update, Liquidity Services decided to withdraw from the live auction bidding held yesterday for the rolling stock contract. To explain its decision, the company stated, "Bidding reached a level that Liquidity Services determined would be economically unsustainable under the terms of the new contract, jeopardizing the high level of service it has historically provided the agency client."

Now what: As it stands, the contracting process isn't complete, so Liquidity Services can't provide a revised financial forecast just yet. However, assuming the unofficial results stand, the price for Liquidity Services' non-rolling stock contract -- which has a base term of two years with four one-year renewal options -- is expected to increase from 1.8% to 4.35% of the DOD's original acquisition value. The end result, it says, will require a "material reset of the Company's EBITDA forecast in fiscal year 2015."

As bad as this news is, however, and despite Liquidity Services' initial bidding mishap on the non-rolling stock contract, I have to respect the company's decision to withdraw when bidding for the rolling stock contract became unsustainably high. As it stands, with shares down almost 30% over the past three trading days alone, it looks to me like Liquidity Services stock could represent a compelling buy for patient, long-term investors.

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Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Liquidity Services. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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