Why SUPERVALU Shares Got Crushed


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 SUPERVALU (NYS: SVU) plummeted more than 40% today after the embattled grocery chain suspended its dividend and said it is reviewing "strategic alternatives" to boost shareholder value.

So what: Another brutal quarter prompted management to announce several turnaround initiatives -- aggressive price cuts, cost reductions, and a possible debt refinancing -- but many analysts think it's just far too little, too late. In fact, worries over increasingly intense price pressure even dragged down the stocks of rivals Safeway (NYS: SWY) and Kroger (NYS: KR) , which are off 10% and 5%, respectively.

Now what: While today's nasty plunge is painful for current shareholders, it sets the stage for several possible catalysts, including a potential sale of the company. "We are committed to generating operating cash flows of more than $1 billion annually and meeting or exceeding our debt reduction targets," SUPERVALU CEO Craig Herkert said. "And, to assure we are evaluating the full range of opportunities available to us to create value for shareholders, the Company's Board and management, together with its financial advisors, are reviewing strategic alternatives for our business." With the stock hitting an all-time low and trading at a paltry forward P/E, enterprising contrarians might want to take a closer look.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of SUPERVALU. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying calls on SUPERVALU. 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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