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 trucking company Arkansas Best (NASDAQ:ARCB) revved up the engine, and jumped as much as 17% after announcing its ABF Freight Systems employees had ratified a five-year collective bargaining agreement.
So what: According to Arkansas Best's press release, not only did the collective bargaining agreement pass, but it also passed a majority of the supplements in the ABF National Master Freight Agreement. There are still a few items left to be voted on over the near term, but this vote clears the way for Arkansas Best to be price competitive once again with its peers.
Now what: This agreement has seriously been far too long in coming, but it's precisely what Arkansas Best needs to get the company back to profitability. With the labor agreement ratified, Arkansas Best will not have to shed any jobs, and can utilize its pricing power and a stabilization in fuel costs to its advantage. The labor union gray cloud was the final piece of the puzzle left that I felt would make Arkansas Best a great company, and was the primary impetus behind my selection of the trucking company for my One Person's Trash Is Another Person's Treasure portfolio. While I still have high hopes for Arkansas Best, I'd probably temper my expectations a bit with the company having doubled in just three months.
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