Why Blyth's 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 home fragrance direct seller Blyth (NYS: BTH) were stinking it up today, falling as much as 23% in intraday trading after its ViSalus subsidiary announced the withdrawal of its initial public offering.

So what: The plan had been for ViSalus to sell up to $175 million of stock in an IPO and Blyth, which owns 73% of ViSalus, would turn around and pay its shareholders a nice special dividend. Now, if that's still going to happen, it's going to happen at some unknown time in the future. Citing "uncertain market conditions," ViSalus pulled the IPO today.

Now what: Investors may have reason to be upset simply because they're not going to get that special dividend -- the August announcement of that payout caused Blyth's stock to climb 17%.

But I can't help wondering whether there's more to be concerned about here. It's true that this isn't an ideal time for IPOs. However, not only are IPOs getting done, but some -- like Kayak (NAS: KYAK) and, more recently, Trulia (NAS: TRLA) -- are even getting priced above the expected offering range. The worry, then, is that despite ViSalus' 450% first-half 2012 revenue growth, institutional investors don't see the company worth as much as Blyth and ViSalus insiders do.

To be sure, it's tough to keep a good company down, and if ViSalus keeps growing like that, it'll become very difficult for the IPO market to pooh-pooh it. However, current Blyth investors may want to revisit their assumptions about how much ViSalus is worth.

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The article Why Blyth's Shares Got Crushed originally appeared on Fool.com.

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