World Fuel Services 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: One day after World Fuel Services (NYS: INT) reported a 35% increase in Q2 profit, its stock reacted -- up 11% in Wednesday trading.

So what: That's a pretty big number on the earnings side, but it pales in comparison with WFS's top-line performance, where revenues nearly doubled to $8.7 billion at the fuel logistics company.

Now what: Sound good? Not so fast -- it wasn't uniformly great news. If WFS's GAAP numbers are going vertical, we're seeing a different trajectory entirely on the cash-flow statement. Free cash flow in Q2 was nearly cut in half from last year's Q2 number. So far this year, the company has managed to burn through about $145 million in cash -- quite a turnaround from the near-$20 million it generated in last year's first half.

Long story short, even at 17 times earnings, this stock is no bargain.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorRich Smithdoes not own (or short) shares of World Fuel Services. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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