Why Shares of The Hillshire Brands Company Soared

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 The Hillshire Brands Company  (NYSE: HSH  ) were looking tasty today, jumping as much as 23% after Pilgrim's Pride Corporation  (NASDAQ: PPC  ) offered to buy the meat producer for $6.4 billion.   

So what: Pilgrim's Pride is the nation's second largest poultry producer, and its proposed all-cash buyout at $45 a share is a 21.6% premium over Hillshire's Friday closing price. Hillshire, which is the parent of brands such as Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park franks, had just agreed to buy Pinnacle Foods two weeks ago, but Pilgrim Pride's proposal would nix that deal. In its press release, Pilgrim's Pride called its offer a "substantially superior alternative to Hillshire's pending acquisition of Pinnacle."  

Now what: Based on the market's reaction, investors seem optimistic that the deal would go through as Hillshire shares actually closed above Pilgrim Pride's offer price on the news, and the poultry producer's stock finished 2% higher, while Pinnacle Foods shares dropped 5%. Hillshire shares hit a nearly two-year high on the news, and considering the slow-growth nature of the industry, Pilgrim's offer may be too good to pass up. The two companies met in February, and Pilgrim's said it's "long been our desire to acquire" Hillshire in its press release. Expect a response from Hillshire soon. You can keep your eye on Hillshire stock by adding the company to your watchlist here

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