Aeroflex Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

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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 microelectronics components maker Aeroflex (NYS: ARX) jumped as high as 14% above last night's closing price on heavy volume -- but only after starting the day some 6.5% down. The stock has covered an impressive price span of 22% today, all told, but rests at a modest 6.1% gain in afternoon trading.

So what: Aeroflex crashed hard on Thursday after offering disappointing next-quarter guidance on a generally terrible market day. Today, investors took a more sober view of the situation and started buying Aeroflex on the dip -- including one very large trading block after lunch that represents about one-third of the stock's average daily volume in a matter of minutes.

Now what: The company's largest customers are major defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin (NYS: LMT) and Raytheon (NYS: RTN) , which makes Aeroflex shares very sensitive to any talk about military budgets. That's a constant topic of conversation on your favorite cable news channel nowadays and will be until the 2012 federal budget is nailed down. That's why Aeroflex has been so jumpy amid the economic whirlwinds of August.

Moreover, a short history on the public markets meets trailing P/E ratios of more than 200 but a forward P/E below 7. I don't blame investors for scratching their heads over this stock's true value.

Interested in more info on Aeroflex? Add it to your watchlist.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. 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 is investors writing for investors.

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