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Why Inteliquent, Inc. Shares Skyrocketed

By Steve Symington – Jan 21, 2014 at 2:11PM

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Is Inteliquent's jump meaningful? Or just another movement?

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 Inteliquent (IQNT) jumped 23% Tuesday following the appointment of a new CFO and an upgrade from analyst firm Raymond James.

So what: First, Inteliquent announced Kurt Abkemeier will step in as the company's new CFO. Abkemeier previously served from 2005 to 2012 as the VP of finance and treasurer for Cbeyond. Before that, Abkemeier was director of finance and strategic planning at regional wireless telecommunications specialist AirGate PCS.

For shareholders, the move also removes a key piece of uncertainty following an incident last August, when shares plunged after Inteliquent announced an internal investigation regarding the potential restatement of two key figures in its 2012 annual report. And though no restatement was ultimately required, then-CFO David Zwick unsurprisingly announced his resignation shortly thereafter. 

As a result, Raymond James moved Inteliquent from "market perform" to "outperform" with a $12-per-share price target, noting the decision to hire a CFO from outside the company should act as a positive catalyst. In addition, Raymond James cited both Inteliquent's reasonable valuation and stable pricing trends in its core business.

Now what: After today's pop, however, keep in mind shares currently trade at around $13 per share, or an 8% premium to James' target price. I'll admit the stock could still enjoy some upside momentum in the near-term, and they don't look particularly expensive at around 16 times next year's estimated earnings. In the end, though, I'd personally prefer to see more tangible evidence of sustainable, profitable growth going forward before I decide to own shares of Inteliquent for the long haul.

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Fool contributor Steve Symington and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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