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Why Shares of Family Dollar, Inc. and Dollar General Corp. Jumped

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 Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO  ) and Dollar General Corp.  (NYSE: DG  ) were moving higher today, jumping as much as 16% and 14%, respectively, and closing 13% and 7% higher after activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed a 9.4% stake in Family Dollar.

So what: The renowned billionaire investor revealed his holding in the discount chain after hours Friday, and Family Dollar promptly responded by adopting a "poison pill" shareholder rights plan, which prevents any shareholder from amassing more than a 10% stake in the company. In his filing, Icahn called Family Dollar "undervalued," and said he may seek seats on the board to enact changes. Family Dollar recently lowered its outlook for the year and has changed its strategy to and everyday low prices model from a high-low model, which could make it ripe for activist influence.

Now what: Dollar General shares rose as investors speculated that Icahn's investment could lead to a merger between the two dollar-store chains. It's too early to say what changes could come to Family Dollar or Dollar General as a result of Icahn's move, but the famous investor has made some smart bets recently on companies such as NetflixHerbalife, and Apple and has been key in inducing the iPhone-maker to return more capital to shareholders. Given his investing resume, Family Dollar shares simply just because he took a stake in the company and sees it as an undervalued opportunity.

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Jeremy Bowman

Fool since 2011. I write about consumer goods, the big picture, and whatever else piques my interest. Follow me on Twitter to see my latest articles, and for commentary on hot topics in retail and the broad market.

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Related Tickers

9/2/2015 4:00 PM
DG $72.25 Up +0.43 +0.60%
Dollar General CAPS Rating: ***
FDO $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Family Dollar Stor… CAPS Rating: ***