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 hair-care specialist Regis Corp
So what: Back in August, Regis' board of directors had announced that the company would be "exploring strategic alternatives." In most cases, that is Wall Street lingo for "we're going to sell the company." Investors proceeded to flock to the stock in hopes that they could profit from a quick pop when a buyer did move in to snap up the company. The investors lured by the buyout got their first disappointment in November when rumors circulated that the offers for the company were disappointingly low. Today, the company put the official kibosh on the buyout hopes, saying that "the most appropriate course of action for maximizing shareholder value is for Regis to continue to execute upon its existing business plan as an independent public company."
Now what: This is exactly the reason why I'm adamantly against chasing buyout rumors -- everyone gets all excited, shares start soaring, and then in a not-insignificant number of cases no deal ever materializes and the stock takes a dive. If you were a trader trying to grab a quick gain on the buyout, you're probably already long gone and not reading this. But if you're a long-term investor, keep your eyes on the underlying value of the company. If management is right and there is more value to be had without selling, then you're better off for this decision -- you'll just have to be a bit more patient.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy assures you no Wookiees were harmed in the making of this article.