Ritchie Bros. Shares Dropped, Then Recovered: 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 auction giant Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYS: RBA) were getting auctioned off at a 10% discount early today before rallying back to even.

So what: The question that investors should be asking isn't why Ritchie Bros. stock plunged in the first place -- after all, third-quarter earnings per share missed analysts' estimates by $0.08 -- but rather why they were able to stage such an impressive comeback in spite of the plunging stock market today.

While trying to gauge why investors do what they do on any given day can be like trying to read tea leaves, my guess is that after an initial gasp at the extent to which the company whiffed on third-quarter expectations, investors were cheered by the fact that management said the company is still on track to meet its outlook for the full year.

Now what: Ritchie Bros. is anything but insulated from the broader economy, and management laid blame for the soft third quarter at the feet of market volatility and economic concerns. However, CEO Peter Blake noted that pricing has stayed firm and the fourth quarter is looking good. Specifically, he said that gross auction proceeds for October were $280 million, versus $180 million a year ago.

Want to keep up to date on Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers?Add it to your watchlist.

At the time this article was published Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.Fool contributorMatt Koppenhefferhas no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting hisCAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter,@KoppTheFool, or onFacebook. The Fool'sdisclosure policyprefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.

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