Why American Vanguard Corp. Stock Jumped Today

Is this meaningful or just another movement?

Travis Hoium
Travis Hoium
Jul 21, 2014 at 6:27PM
Energy, Materials, and Utilities

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 specialty chemicals company American Vanguard Corp. (NYSE:AVD) jumped as much as 10% today after updating guidance.

So what: The update was actually pretty terrible, with management predicting that second-quarter revenue would be down 21% and the company would only break even. That equates to $68.6 million in revenue versus the $81.1 million estimate from Wall Street, where there was also an expectation of a $0.10 per share profit. But cost-cutting measures are expected to save some money, and demand is expected to pick up later this year.  

Now what: Clearly the guidance wasn't very good,, but management expects that most of that is due to reduced inventory in the channels that feed end customers and isn't because of lower fundamental demand. As a result, sales should pick up heading into the 2015 planting season if all goes well, which is a long time for investors to wait to see their investment thesis play out. I really don't see the reason for the pop today, except that maybe investors were expecting even worse, but with shares hitting a 52-week low early in the day, it looks like the bad news was already priced in. Long-term, the company should be on solid footing, but short-term it'll be a volatile ride like it was today.