Why Bio-Rad Shares Popped

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 life science diagnostic and research equipment expert Bio-Rad Laboratories (NYS: BIO) were surging today, gaining as much as 15% in intraday trading.

So what: It appears that Bio-Rad's stock is climbing on sad news. It was announced late yesterday that David Schwartz, the company's 88-year-old co-founder and chairman, passed away over the weekend.

While a headline at MarketWatch reads "Bio-Rad jumps 12% on Luminex deal," the extension of a sales and distribution agreement with longtime partner Luminex (NAS: LMNX) doesn't seem like much of a reason for Bio-Rad's stock to go bananas. Bloomberg, meanwhile, noted that there's been a long-held belief that the company -- which is owned in large part by the Schwartz family -- could end up on the selling block after the death of its founder. That seems like a much more likely driver for today's action, as investors often rush to a potential buyout candidate in expectation that a buyer will pay a takeover premium.

Now what: In the hefty book of inadvisable investor moves, one of my least favorites is chasing merger and acquisition rumors. I'm sure the strategy works out on occasion. However, trying to get rich on rumor and speculation is more likely a great way to ruin your retirement -- or whatever else your investment portfolio is aimed at. In this Fool's opinion, chasing Bio-Rad's run today is about as wise as "investing" in lotto tickets.

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