WebMD 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 WebMD (NAS: WBMD) climbed as high as 10.5% on Thursday on news that four private equity firms -- including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (NYS: KKR) and Providence Equity Partners -- are in the process of bidding for the health-care information provider.

So what: Citing sources close to the matter, the New York Post reported that WebMD has set Monday as its final bidding deadline, suggesting that a deal could be announced very soon. Of course, WebMD has been considered a takeover target for several weeks now -- whales like Carl Icahn and George Soros have been gobbling up the beaten-down shares -- so Mr. Market doesn't seem that excited about a looming deal.

Now what: I'd be cautious about buying into the buyout buzz. The downside is just too big if the deal falls through, given WebMD's rapidly decelerating revenue growth, while it seems that Wall Street has already baked in much of the upside. Unless you'd be perfectly willing to own WebMD as a long-term stand-alone investment, it's probably best to watch the process unfold from a distance.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. 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 Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.

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