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 digital media analytics and marketing intelligence company comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR) soared by more than 20% on Thursday following two major developments. The company beat analyst estimates for revenue in its fourth quarter, and advertising giant WPP agreed to buy 15%-20% of comScore at a price of $46.13 per share, a few dollars higher than the stock's closing price on Wednesday. The stock closed Wednesday at $43.16.
So what: comScore reported revenue growth of 19% during its fourth quarter, beating analyst estimates considerably. The company did fall well short of analyst estimates for earnings, however, posting a loss of $0.08 per share, a miss of $0.14. The company's guidance calls for another loss during the first quarter.
The bigger news, though, was the announcement that WPP was buying a big stake in the company. comScore will issue some new shares, increasing its share count by 4.55%, in exchange for a strategic alliance with WPP and some European assets. An additional 15% of comScore will be purchased by WPP through a tender offer at a price of $46.13.
By noon on Thursday, shares of comScore were trading at nearly $53 per share, well above this offer price from WPP.
Now what: According to Eric Salama, CEO of Kantar, the data investment management arm of WPP, "By partnering with comScore and combining our respective strengths, we will integrate data and expertise to give our clients a new standard in measuring audiences and campaigns across multiple platforms. This continues our strategy of combining survey, panel and census data and putting digital at the heart of all we do."
Investors should remember, though, that comScore is still a money-losing company, and with the stock price well above the tender offer price, the big gain today may not last.