Why Boulder Brands Shares Popped and Then Dropped


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 Boulder Brands were up as much as 22% this morning, before slipping into negative territory and falling as much as 12%, as investors reacted to its earnings report.

So what: Overall, it was a solid report for Boulder Brands, the parent of Smart Balance and other similar food brands. The company delivered earnings per share of $0.06, $0.01 better than estimates, and grew revenues 34.7%, to $113 million, in line with estimates. Revenue guidance for 2013 of $450-$460 million also matched analyst forecasts. The sell-off seemed to come from concerns about accounting practices that saw its stock price fall 30% in the week leading up to the earnings report. A group called Prescience Point accused Boulder of manipulating its financial results, and said it could be worth as little as $4 a share. Prescience Point also pointed out that key Smart Balance patents would expire in 2015. You can read its full report here.

Now what:An analyst brought the issue up on the earnings call, and based on the stock's dive since, investors did not seem happy with the response.

Boulder Brands is fast becoming a battleground stock, like we've seen from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Herbalife, where dramatic short pitches cast doubt on the company itself, and pressure the stock downward. I can't say if there's any validity to Prescience Point's statement, and the SEC has not found any fault with Boulder Brands' accounting, but the volatility makes me want to stay away. From its early session high today, the stock lost nearly 30%. It may bounce back, but it's not going to be a smooth ride.

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The article Why Boulder Brands Shares Popped and Then Dropped originally appeared on Fool.com.

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