What a difference a day makes. I wrote my opening salvo in this duel over the weekend, before Wrigley's (NYSE:WWY) stellar earnings announcement sent its shares skyrocketing. That news just bolsters my point, though. You rarely find a great company at a bargain-basement price. Your best bet is usually to purchase it at a good price, then get paid while you watch it grow.

In fact, it seems that my dueling partner Seth Jayson largely agrees with me. After all, his calculation pegged Wrigley's fair value at around $45-$50 a share. As a confessed value hound, Seth knows as well as anyone that a fair-value calculation is an approximation at best. Even after its Monday spike, Wrigley finished the day at $53.23 -- a mere 6.5% above the top end of his valuation range. If that's the best the bear can come up with, then the future really does look bright for the chewing-gum champ.

As for Wrigley's supposed recent financial issues, much of it seems due to the one-time impact of the Altoids and Life Savers acquisition from Kraft (NYSE:KFT). Merging two companies and taking advantage of synergies always involves initial costs. That Wrigley's FCF margin only dropped 2.4 percentage points in 2005, despite that acquisition, is a testament to its financial strength and fiscally prudent management. Likewise, with the acquisition taking place in the middle of fiscal year 2005, Seth's full-year ROIC calculation may have captured the full cost of the investment, but only half the returns.

In any event, with its recent earnings announcement, it's clear that Wrigley is successfully digesting its sugary-sweet acquisition. Whatever toothache the purchase may have caused, it was apparently short-lived and easy to cure.

Duel on!

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At the time of publication, Fool contributor Chuck Saletta did not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.