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Why Shares of Black Diamond Inc. Soared Today

By Timothy Green – Mar 17, 2015 at 12:15PM

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What investors need to know about the company's efforts to unlock shareholder value.

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 Black Diamond (CLAR 8.02%), a manufacturer of products for outdoor recreation activities likes skiing, mountaineering, and mountain biking, soared on Tuesday after the company reported its fourth-quarter earnings, stating in the press release that the company would explore "strategic alternatives" in order to unlock shareholder value. By noon, the stock had risen by more than 25%.

So what: Black Diamond fell short of analyst estimates for both revenue and earnings during the fourth quarter. Revenue rose 9.7% year-over-year to $59.4 million, coming up short of estimates by about $2 million, while non-GAAP EPS missed by two cents, coming in at $0.09.

The real news is that Black Diamond is exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company. Executive Chairman Warren Kanders stated in the company's press release: "At a time when premium active lifestyle and outdoor brands are selling at historically high levels, and there is a scarcity of authentic branded assets available to strategic acquirers, the board's decision to investigate its strategic alternatives results from its belief that the Company is likely to utilize 100% of its NOL [net operating loss] balances in connection with this process and represents the logical next step in our ongoing efforts to unlock value for Black Diamond shareholders."

Now what: Black Diamond has accumulated $167 million in net operating loss carry-forwards for tax purposes, a significant amount compared to the market capitalization of the company, which sits at about $300 million after today's rise. This could prove valuable to an acquiring company, and Black Diamond's decision to explore strategic options appears to be centered on the desire to unlock this benefit for shareholders.

Buying a company's stock based solely on speculation of an acquisition is rarely a good idea, however, and there's no guarantee that anything will ultimately come from the company's efforts.

Timothy Green has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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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