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 Pantry (NASDAQ: PTRY ) were up as much as 13% today after the convenience-store chain made changes to its board and got an analyst upgrade.
So what: Macquarie Research analyst Dane Leone lifted his rating on the parent of the Kangaroo Express convenience-store chain to outperform from neutral, raising his price target all the way from $14 to $29. Leone said that "under a scenario where the assets are redistributed into an effective dealer network the value of the Pantry asset base could be much higher than current valuation." Leone also thought that recent board changes would make a transition more likely.
Now what: Thanks to activist efforts, four of the company's nine board members are newcomers as of the shareholders' meeting earlier this spring, and the board has a new director, Tad Dickson. CEO Dennis Hatchell expects strategic changes, but it's still unclear what the new board will do. Management has considered small acquisitions, and converting to a dealer network, similar to franchising, is another option, but it's important to remember Leone is just an analyst throwing out suggestions. While changes are expected at The Pantry, those improvements may be baked into the stock as analysts are already expecting a sharp turnaround, with the stock trading at a P/E of 26 based on 2015 earnings. Notably, Leone lowered his estimates, reflecting higher operating costs and a sign that challenges remain.
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