PAETEC Shares Popped: What You Need to Know


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 broadband services provider PAETEC (NAS: PAET) were dialing up big gains today, jumping as much as 22% in intraday trading on heavy volume.

So what: There's no mystery involved in PAETEC's gains today; the stock is spiking on news that fellow communications services provider Windstream (NYS: WIN) has decided to buy PAETEC. Windstream is paying $891 million -- or $5.62 per share based on Windstream's closing price on Friday -- in stock for PAETEC. The price is a 27% premium to PAETEC's closing price on Friday.

Now what: For speculators, there's still a small gain to be made by grabbing the spread between PAETEC's current price and the takeout price. For current PAETEC investors, the math boils down to deciding whether to take the money and run or jump on board with the company's likely new parent, Windstream. Finally, Windstream shareholders will want to consider what the purchase means to them. Management waxed bullish on the transaction, but I get a little nervous when a company makes a big acquisition with stock.

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