Superior Energy Shares Plunged: 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 energy-services company Superior Energy Services (NYS: SPN) got drilled by investors today, falling as much as 19% in intraday trading after the company announced that it's merging with Complete Production Services (NYS: CPX) .

So what: The merger, announced early this morning, will see Superior end up the surviving company as it combines with the now-larger Complete. Complete shareholders will pocket $7 in cash and end up with 0.945 shares of Superior for each Complete share that they currently own. Superior will also pick up about $650 million of Complete's current debt. The price paid is a 29% premium to the two-month average price for Complete's stock, but the stock has been on a downtrend over that stretch. Based on Friday's closing price for both stocks, the one-day premium was a hefty 61%.

Now what: Based on Superior's stock performance today, it would appear that investors are not terribly stoked about this deal. A primary concern may be that the company is overpaying for Complete. Based on Friday's closing prices, the deal values Complete at right around six times its trailing 12-month EBITDA, which, on a historical basis, doesn't seem like a crazy price. However, with Complete's stock -- and the stocks of the rest of the sector -- in the dumps lately, investors may think that there was a better deal to be struck.

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